ELECTIONS - CHANGE REPRESENTATIVE





Election Change

CHANGE REPRESENTATIVE

A petition to change the representative of an existing bargaining unit may only be filed by the labor organization seeking to become the employees' new representative.

BEFORE YOU FILE

The timing to file a change of representative petition is determined by a certification or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA):

Certification or CBA StatusTiming to File a Petition
If PERC has issued a certification within the previous 12 months,no petition involving the same employees may be filed for 12 months from the date of the certification.
If the most recent CBA has expired and no new CBA has been signed,a petition can be filed at any time.
If a CBA is in effect,a petition can only be filed during a 30-day window period, which is determined by the contract expiration date.

Window periods are determined by the statute covering employees and the expiration date of the CBA.

Employees Covered ByCalculating WindowExample: CBA ExpirationExample: Window Period
Chapters 41.80 or 47.64 RCW90-120 days prior to CBA expiration dateJune 3030-day window period is March 3 - April 2
Most other chapters60-90 days prior to CBA expiration dateDecember 3130-day window period is October 3 - November 2

 Showing of Interest

A petition must include showing of interest cards from at least 30 percent of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit. A showing of interest card states an individual employee’s desire to be represented. Each card must be signed and dated within one year of the petition filing date, must be kept confidential, and must not be shared with the employer.

Sample showing of interest card

Showing of interest sample
 How To Form a Labor Organization

A petition to organize may only be filed by an established or employee-created labor organization.

  1. Name your organization.
  2. Create a document, such as a constitution or bylaws, explaining how your organization will operate. You may search online for examples of union constitutions and bylaws.
  3. While not required by PERC, you may register your labor organization with the Washington Secretary of State and obtain a federal tax ID if you plan to collect dues.

HOW TO FILE

Email, fax, mail, or deliver a completed Representation Petition form and any other documents to PERC and all parties as required by WAC 391-08-120. The showing of interest cards must be filed ONLY with PERC. Do not provide copies of the cards to other parties. After the petition is filed, PERC will email the case number and a copy of the petition to all parties.

  Request for List of Employees

The employer has 10 days to provide the following information to PERC:

  1. A list of eligible employees, which must be submitted as a separate attachment in Microsoft Excel format by email to filing@perc.wa.gov.
  2. The identification of any eligibility challenges (e.g., part-time, supervisor, confidential).
  3. Additional information or documents, such as organizational charts.
  Verification of Showing of Interest

Upon receipt of the list of employees, PERC will compare the list to the showing of interest cards to verify the petition is supported by at least 30 percent of the employees. If the petition has less than 30 percent support, is untimely, or has any other deficiency, PERC will issue a deficiency notice, which may allow an opportunity to correct the deficiency within 14 days.

  Filing Additional Cards or Correcting a Deficiency

Referencing the case number and the parties on the case, submit additional cards or documents with information addressing the deficiency to PERC by email to filing@perc.wa.gov.

 Investigation

When the petition is complete PERC will conduct an investigation by email or phone to verify the parties agree on the answers to the following six questions:

  1. Does PERC have jurisdiction?
  2. Is the labor organization qualified under the statute?
  3. Is the petition timely?
  4. Is there an unfair labor practice complaint or other case that could block the processing of this petition?
  5. Is the proposed bargaining unit appropriate under the statute, and does either party have any changes to the proposed bargaining unit description?
  6. Is the eligibility list correct, or are there any proposed changes?

If the parties agree, PERC will conduct an election. A card check is not possible in a petition to change the representative. The employer is required to post notices in the workplace with election details. If the parties do not agree, additional proceedings may be conducted. Your assigned hearing officer will work with you and the other party to schedule and address the logistics for the hearing. Hearings are currently held using PERC’s Zoom account. PERC utilizes a Dropbox account to facilitate the exchange of exhibits, either prior to or during the hearing. Generally, you can expect your hearing officer to schedule a pre-hearing conference to go over hearing logistics, including Zoom and Dropbox tech setup.

  Election by Mail Ballot

Elections may be conducted by mail ballot, electronically, or telephonically. PERC will send ballots and voting instructions to the employees. Ballot choices include the petitioning union, the incumbent union, no representation, and, if applicable, an intervening union. Employees will return mail ballots to PERC. Any employee who does not return a ballot has not voted.

PERC will tally the returned ballots on the election date indicated on the posted notice. The election is determined by a majority of ballots returned. If there were two choices on the ballot, a tie vote will result in “No Representation” being certified. If there were more than two choices, a run-off election may occur. The tally results are sent to the representatives on the case.

  Election Objections

Election objections must be filed with PERC within 7 days after the tally is issued. The petitioner, employer, intervenor, or individual employees may file election objections for improper conduct or procedures during the election process. The objections must be written in separate numbered paragraphs. After the objection is filed, PERC will establish a timeline for responses to the objections. All filings must comply with the service requirements at WAC 391-08-120.

To file election objections, submit a document including the case number, the parties’ names and representatives, and an explanation of the objection by email to filing@perc.wa.gov.

  Certification

If no election objections are filed, PERC will issue a certification after the objection period expires. If election objections are filed, PERC may issue a certification after the objections are resolved.

To file election objections, submit a document including the case number, the parties’ names and representatives, and an explanation of the objection by email to filing@perc.wa.gov.

  Appeals

If no election objections are filed, PERC will issue a certification after the objection period expires. If election objections are filed, PERC may issue a certification after the objections are resolved.

Notice of Appeal

A notice of appeal provides notice that a party is appealing a decision and identifies the specific finding(s) of fact, conclusion(s) of law, or order being appealed. A notice of appeal is due 20 days from the date the decision is issued. That deadline cannot be extended. After the notice of appeal has been filed, the parties will be able to file appeal briefs.

Appeal Brief

An appeal brief explains what is being appealed and why, and provides legal arguments as to why the issue(s) should be overturned by the Commission. The appeal brief is due 14 days after the notice of appeal is filed. That deadline can be extended by request to the Executive Director at filing@perc.wa.gov. The brief should be in 12-point font, double-spaced, and no more than 25 pages.

Response Brief

The response brief is due 14 days after the appeal brief is served. That deadline can be extended by request to the Executive Director at filing@perc.wa.gov. The brief should be in 12-point font, double-spaced, and no more than 25 pages.

All appeal documents must comply with the service requirements at WAC 391-08-120. A notice of appeal must be filed at filing@perc.wa.gov and served on opposing parties.

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