Olympia Forest

December 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, I have a few developments of note at PERC to share. First is the pending change of the guard at the Commission. After 27 years as chairperson, Marilyn Glenn Sayan has announced that she will be stepping down from the Commission at the end of the year. Marilyn was first appointed to the Commission in 1996 by Governor Mike Lowry following her retirement from her over 30-year career with the state. During her time on the Commission, more than 21,000 cases were filed with the agency and collective bargaining rights were extended to the following groups of employees:

•Faculty at four-year colleges and universities
•State employees
•Ferry system employees
•Certain higher education student employees
•Adult family home providers
•Certain family childcare providers
•Language access providers
•Home care workers
•Symphony musicians

Marilyn took part in over 600 Commission decisions and served with 10 different commissioners and three agency executive directors.
Marilyn was also active nationally and internationally in the labor relations field. She served for several years on the executive board of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies (ALRA)—the association of impartial government agencies responsible for administering labor relations laws and services in the United States and Canada. Marilyn served as ALRA president in 2006–07.
Marilyn constantly championed for all PERC staff. All of us at PERC are grateful for Marilyn’s service. She served the citizens of the state of Washington for over 60 years, and her professional career and volunteer service have always centered on fair treatment and equitable opportunities for all. We expect the Governor to make an appointment to fill Marilyn’s vacancy soon.

With Marilyn’s pending departure from the Commission, we are grateful that Liz Ford was reappointed this fall. Liz was originally appointed to the Commission in October 2022 to fill Ken Pedersen’s unexpired term. Liz’s appointment now runs until September 2028.
The other significant development at PERC is the launch of our e-filing system to external users. The e-filing system will allow our clientele to file cases and documents directly into our case management system. The e-filing system will also allow our professional staff who handle the docketing and filing to move from a data entry to a data auditing role. Additionally, the system sets the groundwork to allow us, in the future, to give clientele access to view case files and documents.
As the year closes, we look to what lies ahead in 2024. We will be examining the data and trends from 2023 as we prepare the year’s annual report. The legislative session begins in January, and we are aware of several bills that would impact PERC and public-sector collective bargaining. We will also begin implementing legislation that grants collective bargaining rights to a certain group of state employees. We are expecting several representation petitions for these employees. This influx will be on top of the already high number of representation petitions received in 2023. And that is just what we know lies ahead.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the staff at PERC. Together, they all do the work to help PERC be a recognized leader in improving labor-management relations.


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 »