Blog WSH

What is decertification?

This year our group will circulate a petition for a decertification vote.  It is important for RN’s to know what this actually means.  Especially because the union will go out of its way to instill fear and propaganda.  A decertification vote would allow ALL DSHS nurses that are covered under the current RN union contract to democratically vote if they wish to remain as members of the current union.  Signing the petition does nothing more that bring about a full DSHS vote of all members, nothing more.  Members could vote to remain with the current union or they could vote to depart from the current union by majority vote.

The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) defines decertification as “to no longer be represented by the current organization.”  To initiate a decertification a single “member” must sign a form as a petitioner.  I will be the individual that will sign the form to be the petitioner for decertification.  In order to file this form, there MUST be a “Showing of Interest.”  A “Showing of Interest” requires that 30% of DSHS nurses show support for a decertification vote.  If petitions are filed indicating 30% of DSHS RN’s show an interest in decertification, then PERC will hold a formal confidential vote for all DSHS nurses.  ALL petitions that show interest are CONFIDENTIAL and ONLY PERC will know which nurses filed the petitions (not the union).  Thus my name will be the only identified member of interest for decertification.  For ethical reasons I have already declared with the union as well as DSHS that I will no longer represent myself as a Delegate of the union.  I am officially NOT a supporter of the RN union for reasons that will spelled out in great detail.  

To decertify a union requires that a petition to decertify occur during a 30 day “window period.”  The 30 day window period is determined by the expiration date of the current contract…  That date is July 1, 2015.  This window period begins 120 days and ends 90 days before the contract expires.  Our contract falls under the provisions of RCW 41.80.  The “window period” occurs from February 2015  to April 1, 2015.  The form for decertification and petitions indicating “Showing of Interest” will be filed sometime during this “window period.”

If you wish to file a “Showing of Interest” petition, please provide it to me no later than March 20th, 2015 to allow time for filing and determination if the 30% number has been obtained.  We value your opinion and therefore provide a democratic process to DSHS nurses which was never present with the current RN union.

To print out a “Showing of Interest” petition click here.  Mail it to the listed post office address or provide the petition directly to me.  You can also email a scanned copy of the signed and dated petition.

The following data was cut and pasted directly from PERC:

Removing Union Representation (Decertification)

What can I do if I no longer wish to be represented by a union?
An individual employee or small group of employees cannot file a petition to remove themselves from a larger bargaining unit.  A petition to decertify must cover the entire unit as it currently exists.

What is involved in filing a petition to decertify?

  • You must know the number of employees in the bargaining unit and obtain showing of interest cards from at least 30% of the unit who support the decertification effort.  
  • One employee must act as the filing party (petitioner) and point of contact who will participate in any conference or hearing that PERC directs. 
  • When filing a decertification petition, a copy of the petition (but not the showing of interest) must be served on both the employer and the current union. 

Who gets to vote in a decertification petition?
All employees determined to be in the bargaining unit will be given an opportunity to vote by mail ballot.

When Can a Petition be Filed?

There are certain restrictions affecting when a representation petition can be filed based on the status of the bargaining unit.

Organize a New Unit
- If you wish to organize a new bargaining unit, a petition to organize and represent unrepresented employees may be filed at any time.

Change or Remove Representative (expired contract) - If the bargaining unit's current contract has expired, a petition to change or remove the union may be filed at any time prior to the signing of the new contract. 

Change or Remove Representative (current contract) - If the bargaining unit's current contract is in effect, a petition may only be filed to change or remove unions during a 30 day "window period." The 30 day window period is determined by the expiration date of the current contract.

  • For state employees under RCW 41.80, the 30 day window period begins 120 days and ends 90 days before the contract expires.
  • For employees under all other statutes, the 30 day window period begins 90 days and ends 60 days before the contract expires. 

Recent Election Involving Unit -

If PERC has conducted an election, no petition involving the same employees may be filed for 12 months from the date of election or certification. 

Showing of Interest

What is a showing of interest?
All petitions must be filed with a showing of interest.  A showing of interest is individual papers/cards from at least 30% of the employees in the bargaining unit.  Each card must be signed, dated, and clearly state the desired outcome.   A sheet of paper with multiple signatures will not be accepted.

Example - Sample language for a showing of interest card:

  • I 'printed name' want to be represented by ‘name of union’ for the purpose of collective bargaining
  • I ‘printed name' no longer want to be represented by ‘name of union’ for the purpose of collective bargaining

Can I withdraw a showing of interest card that I signed?
No. Once a showing of interest card has been submitted to PERC, it cannot be withdrawn. However, employees may provide PERC with a written request that their showing of interest card not be used for the purpose of a cross-check.See WAC 391-25-410(2)

Do showing of interest cards expire?
Yes, showing of interest cards can expire.  Cards must be from the ‘current’ organizing campaign, and will be current only if they are dated less than one year before the date the petition is filed with PERC.

Please let me know what you think.  Click here to email me.  Post your opinion on the Facebook page.  It is good to have an open and free discussion as well as debate about this important topic.  

Kangaroo Court

A week ago Willie Saw and I appeared before an illegal “District Hearing & Appeals Board” at the District Office of 1199NW in Renton.  What was being addressed was the following:

in May of 2014 the District Office had the 1199NW Organizers that illegally ran the Election Board (unilaterally and without any form of member hearing) invalidate the Western State Hospital Chapter election.  Organizers in 1199NW are hired employees that do the bidding of the President of 1199NW or they are subject to termination of employment.  Organizers within 1199NW belong to their own labor union and negotiate their own contract with 1199NW, included in this contract is a grievance process…  A grievance process that applies to Orgnizers of 1199NW only and does NOT apply to 1199NW membership.  Because the President of 1199NW (since inception) has prevented compliance with the unions’ own bylaws…  1199NW members have never had a democratic process in place to hear and file grievances against the union.  Nor did members have the ability to contest District Officer decisions or actions, or file charges of misconduct against union officers because of the President prevented the Bylaws from being followed.  Paid employees of 1199NW (Organizers), in violation of the bylaws, headed election boards as well as other committees.  1199NW had no form of member based chain of command or oversight.  1199NW imposed upon Chapters its own arbitrary decisions regarding structure and operations of the Chapter without ever having hearings or consultations with Chapter officers or membership.  In the case of Western State Hospital, the illegal Election Board took all of its actions without a single hearing and had all of its actions enforced by the President of 1199NW.  In other words, the Presidents’ paid lieutenants (Organizers) did the bidding of the President and proclaimed themselves as a legal body and organizers as “members in good standing,” and proclaimed that the organizer chaired election board could render all decisions without any form of member input or hearing with the absolute authority of the President.  Does this sound like a dictatorship?  It is.  1199NW has NOT been a democratic union since inception as a result of the actions of the 1199NW President.

The latest hearing constituted the third time that I had taken action which resulted in the putting together of an illegal District Hearing & Appeals Board.  The first occasion occurred several decades ago.  Even after that event, the President failed to assure that the District Delegate Assembly elected a District Hearing & Appeals Board to two year terms as is required by the Bylaws.  The actions taken by the President were deliberate and knowing actions.  This was presented to the kangaroo court for their contemplation.  The kangaroo court presented to us that they had been “legally” appointed by the Executive Board, even though the Executive Board does NOT have the authority to appoint two year terms or lesser time terms for a District Hearing & Appeals Board.  We presented that the kangaroo court was not legitimate at the first hearing when they had rendered a prior ruling that supported an illegal Election Board unilateral (hearing free) decision prior to being “officially” [illegally] appointed by the Executive Board and that they remain an illegal body as the Executive Board has no authority to make a District Hearing & Appeals Board appointment in the first place…  Especially to hear charges against the President when the President had addressed the body at an Executive Board meeting making statements regarding Paul Vilja and Willie Saw to the Executive Board members that were appointed to be members of the illegal District Hearing & Appeals Board (by essentially the President or her employed and paid organizers).  

The ruling by the kangaroo court is pending…  But decades of history indicate that 1199NW will NEVER establish democratic oversight as is required by the bylaws…  In fact, even SEIU International may have never created a democratic union itself by electing an Hearing & Appeals Board.  In effect, (if true) 1199NW and SEIU are not true labor unions, they are political action committees.  

As I have been a “Delegate” for 1199NW, I cannot ethically continue performing duties FOR 1199NW.  I have given my notice to 1199NW that I will no longer continue to perform 1199NW related duties effective January 1, 2015.  After that date, I can present to DSHS nurses an alternative to 1199NW.  I will present this alternative in detail so that propaganda and misinformation will not be effective.

You will hear from our group soon.  We have much to discuss.  Our options present a strong future with decreased union dues and increased incomes.  At that time, DSHS overtime eligible RN’s will no longer work eight more days a year (in time worked - off the books) than all other overtime eligible employees within DSHS.  The future is bright.  It is time for a dramatic change in representation.  

The Most Top Secret Document within 1199NW

I learned today that the following information has been kept top secret from 1199NW WSH Chapter membership from the Chief Counsel of 1199NW.  A hearing will take place tomorrow pertaining to 1199NW illegally appointing new leadership and structure to the WSH Chapter.  After tomorrows hearing I will post what was presented.  

© Paul Vilja 2017