Olympia Forest

June 2024

The first part of 2024 has been an active time at PERC, and we have several developments to share.

Our new E-Filing system, which was launched to external users in December 2023, continues to see more use. Parties can now file cases and documents directly into our case management system through E-Filing. The rollout has generally been smooth. We continue to improve our communication on how to use the system as well as identify future short-term and long-term improvements.

In March, Governor Inslee appointed Mark Lyon as chair of the Commission. Mark filled the vacancy created by Marilyn Glenn Sayan’s departure in December after 27 years as chair. Mark retired from the Attorney General’s Office in 2021 after 17 years, where he served as counsel to PERC and several other agencies. Prior to serving in the Attorney General’s Office, Mark served for 24 years as general counsel for the Washington Public Employees Association.

Also in March, PERC cosponsored the 47th Northwest LERA Conference in Tacoma with over 400 attendees. The conference always provides a great opportunity for PERC staff to meet with many of our clientele. Many thanks to all the PERC staff who helped put on an excellent event.

In April, we released our Annual Report for 2023. Among the notable points in the report was that the number of contract mediation requests received in 2023 was the lowest ever in PERC’s history. Meanwhile, the volume of representation petitions was the highest since the early 2000s, when state employees were granted full-scope collective bargaining. Also, the number of training and conflict prevention requests returned to pre-pandemic levels. So far in 2024, the volume of representation petitions and conflict prevention requests are ahead of or at the pace set in 2023, while the number of contract mediation requests is rebounding.

This year’s legislative session brought about two developments for PERC. First, the legislature passed a bill that added details for legislative employee collective bargaining. The legislature originally granted those employees collective bargaining rights in 2022 but left many details to be addressed until this session. The bill passed this session created a Legislative Commission that will be part of PERC and hear appeals involving legislative employees. The Legislative Commission will be comprised of three commissioners: one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, one appointed by the president of the senate, and one appointed by mutual consent of the other two appointed members. The commissioners must be appointed by September 30, 2024, and the Legislative Commission will operate until December 31, 2027. After that date, the regular Commission will hear any appeals under the Legislative Employees Collective Bargaining Act.

The other notable legislative development this year was the passage of a bill that requires PERC to accept electronic signatures for showing of interest cards filed in support of new organizing petitions. Each electronic signature must be accompanied by a declaration verifying the manner in which the signature was collected and the signee’s consent to use the signature for the showing of interest card. The bill also amended PERC’s statutes to no longer require that PERC physically compare signatures when conducting card checks. The new law goes into effect on June 6.

 If you have any feedback or questions about PERC services, feel free to contact me.

Michael P. Sellars, Executive Director

Public Employment Relations Commission

(360) 570-7306

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Translate »