Decertification of Union

I advocate for decertification of 1199NW for DSHS RN’s.  Once 30% of DSHS sign a “showing of interest” petition, they shall be filed with PERC (Public Employee Relations Commission).  Please do not mail these petitions until after July 1, 2016.  PERC will initiate a confidential DSHS election for ALL DSHS RN’s that are covered under the 1199NW Collective Bargaining Agreement to determine if 1199NW is to be decertified as the exclusive Collective Bargaining Representative of DSHS RN’s.  This will be a simple secret majority vote by ALL members.


Once free of 1199NW, union dues will cease to be deducted.  Go here to see how to reduce union dues now.  DSHS RN’s can then choose which way to proceed…  RN’s can join a different union.  DSHS can form their own union.  Or RN’s choose other paths to follow.  For the following year there will be zero union dues, at minimum this will result in at least a small wage increase.


It is important to understand this process because there will be much propaganda initiated by the union.  There has been a great deal of interest among licensed clinical professionals to form their own union.  Licensed clinical professionals are often grouped together with classifications of employees that have no recruitment and retention problem whose private sector wages and benefits are similar.  Licensed clinical professionals have recruitment and retention issues AND lag behind private sector wages over 20% require a market adjustment in wages.


Physicians, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Psychologists, and Social Workers within DSHS require an immediate market rate adjustment in wages to compete with the public sector.  DSHS has already started to contract agency nurses and physicians at almost double the permanent employee wages in order to continue to conduct business within DSHS.  Western State Hospital is operating with an approximate 8.5 million dollar deficit due to payment of overtime wages because of vacancies that cannot be filled AND due to massive understaffing for current need.  Current projections are that an additional 170+ full time nursing positions will be required to conduct business at WSH at the current level of care (to retain Federal funding and accreditation).  Expansion of beds will require additional nursing personnel beyond the 170+ number.  Why is this information not common knowledge?  The answer is that the unions have not done their job nor has DSHS Administration.  Licensed clinical professionals are a small minority of positions within all direct care classifications.  Because licensed clinical professionals have been neglected by DSHS, it is only a short matter of time before accreditation and Federal funding will be stripped from DSHS facilities.  DSHS staffing level and wage mismanagement and poor union representation are the cause for what is about to occur.


Blog entries regarding decertification:


Why is decertification necessary?


The following is the process to decertify a union taken directly from PERC:


Remove A Union

Public Employees may remove the union that currently represents them.  If they are successful in having no representation, that bargaining unit cannot file to be represented by another union for a year from the date of the certification of “No Representation”.

Employees May:

attempt to remove the union that currently represents your existing bargaining unit.

Employees May Not:

attempt to remove only yourself or a portion of the existing unit. If you are successful in having no representation, that bargaining unit cannot file to be represented by another union for a year from the date of the certification. If you would like to be represented by a different union, see the Change representation page.

Filing a petition

The bargaining unit employee filing the petition acts as the primary contact person with us. The employees in the bargaining unit only participate in the vote, if the petition results in an election.


Showing:  All petitions must be filed with a showing of interest showing that at least 30% of the affected employees support the petition.


Timing for Filing

A petition to remove a union may only be filed at certain times.

  • If the bargaining unit’s current contract is in effect, a petition to remove a union may only be filed during the 30 day “window period.”
    • For state employees who bargain under Chapter 41.80 RCW, the 30 day window period begins 120 days and ends 90 days before the current contract expires.
    • For employees under all other statutes, the 30 day window period begins 90 days and ends 60 days before the contract expires.
  • If the bargaining unit’s current contract has expired, a petition to remove the union may be filed at any time.
  • If PERC conducts an election, no petition involving the same employees may be filed for 12 months from the certification date.

Process

When a petition is filed, PERC will request a list of the petitioned-for employees from the employer.  PERC verifies whether at least 30% of the employees who signed showing of interest cards are on the list provided by the employer.


  • If the petition is not supported by at least 30% of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit, PERC issues a deficiency notice and the petitioning union will be given an opportunity to correct the defect.
  • If the petition is supported by at least 30% of the employees, PERC conducts an investigation conference by email or phone to determine if the parties agree on certain matters. If the parties agree on all matters, then an election or cross-check will be directed.  If the parties do not agree on all matters, then a representation hearing will be held


If the parties agree to the matters to be determined during the processing of the petition, a mail ballot election or cross-check will be held about 5-7 weeks after the petition is filed.  If some matters need to be resolved through a hearing, processing of a petition will take longer. 

Determination

Petitions to remove or decertify a union require a mail ballot, online or telephonic election.


Mail Ballot Election

  • Ballots are mailed to employees’ homes to vote, returned to PERC, and tallied at the election.
  • Mail ballot choices include the union and “No Representation.”
  • The election is determined by a majority of ballots returned. A tie vote results in “No Representation” being certified.

 

Online & Telephone Election

  • Voting instructions are mailed to employees’ homes. Voters will be allowed to vote during a certain period of time using a specific confidential pin # assigned to them.
  • Ballot choices include the petitioning union and “No Representation.”
  • The election is determined by a majority of ballots returned. A tie vote will results “No Representation” being certified
© Paul Vilja 2017