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  For ethical reasons I have already declared with the union as well as DSHS that I will no longer represent myself as a Delegate of the union.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.  

© Paul Vilja 2017