Olympia Forest

Director's Message

Thank you to all who were able to attend the Association of Labor Relations Agencies (ALRA) Advocates’ Day Conference in Portland, Oregon. PERC is a member of ALRA, which is an association of impartial government agencies in the United States and Canada responsible for administering labor-management relations laws or services. ALRA has been a useful tool for our agency in our continual quest to improve our service delivery.

PERC co-hosted this year’s conference in Portland with the Oregon Employment Relations Board, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the National Labor Relations Board. Attendees at this year’s conference heard from the chairs of the National Labor Relations Board and the Canada Industrial Relations Board. Attendees also heard presentations on trade, the challenges and opportunities facing collective bargaining, how some parties are addressing the changing workforce and changing nature of work, and examples of successful collaborative labor management partnerships.

Our caseload is consistent and on par with that of prior years. There are two notable exceptions. For the last several months, the number of cases on appeal before the Commission has been very low, with only one or two cases pending at any time. While that number has recently increased to seven, that is a far cry from the 30 plus pending before the Commission in 2011. The other exception is the number of representation matters. Through June, we opened nearly as many representation matters as we did in all of 2016.

As I mentioned in my last message, Kristi Aravena left the agency this spring. We waited until the passage of a final budget before beginning any recruitment. We will begin recruiting for a field adjudicator/mediator later this month. Also, Jessica Bradley—our unfair labor practice manager who handles intake of unfair labor practice complaints and reviews them to determine if they are eligible for further processing—has decided to return to the field. Before I refill that position, we will be reviewing the intake process and the role of that position. If you would like to share any feedback based upon your experience filing unfair labor practice complaints, please email me.

Finally, in the next few months we will be launching an on-demand, online micro-training on our website. This initial offering will focus on mediation basics. We are excited about expanding our reach with our dispute prevention services. Stay tuned.

That is it for now. Enjoy the rest of your summer. If you have feedback, comments, or questions about PERC and our services, please contact me.


Michael P. Sellars, Executive Director

Public Employment Relations Commission

(360) 570-7306

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