Unit clarifications are used to add or remove employees from an existing bargaining unit to ensure the bargaining unit continues to be appropriate after there has been a change in status.
Who can file a unit clarification petition?
- Unions may file to clarify units they currently represent.
- Employers may file to clarify units that are included in its workforce or amend an existing certification.
- Individual employees may not file unit clarification petitions.
Timing for Filing
The reason for the the unit clarification petition determines when the petition can be filed.
A case can be filed at any time to address:
- Newly created positions
- Allocation of employees claimed by two or more bargaining units
- Employees eligible for interest arbitration
- Confidential Employees
For Supervisory or Part-time employees:
A petition will only be timely if:
- The party challenging the status of the employee has put the other party on notice during negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement and;
- The unit clarification petition is filed prior to the signing of the next collective bargaining agreement.
For a change of circumstances:
Petitions concerning a change of circumstances that potentially alters the community of interest of an existing bargaining unit as to require positions to be added or removed must be filed within a reasonable time of the change.
- Change of circumstances is any event that alters the duties, skills, or working conditions of the employees in the bargaining unit.
- Community of interest is grouping employees by similar work, duties, skills, or working conditions to create appropriate units.
Reason for a Hearing
A hearing will be held to resolve any dispute regarding:
- The timeliness of a unit clarification petition.
- The supervisory, confidential, or part-time status of an employee.
- The appropriateness of adding or removing positions from the existing bargaining unit.
How Do I...
Not a Public Employee?
Not Represented by a Union?
Private Sector Employee
National Labor Relations Board at 206.220.6300 or nlrb.gov
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service at 206.553.5800 or fmcs.gov
Human Rights Commission at 800.233.3247 or hum.wa.gov
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 800.669.4000 or eeoc.gov
Employment Standards/Workplace Rights
Department of Labor and Industries at 866.219.7321 or lni.wa.gov