UNIT CLARIFICATION





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Unit Clarification

Unit clarifications are used to add or remove employees to or from an existing bargaining unit to ensure the bargaining unit continues to be appropriate after there has been a change. Some examples include:

  • if positions are supervisory, confidential, or eligible part-time.
  • if there has been a change in the community of interest
  • amending a bargaining unit description
  • approving or granting a union affiliation

If you are a union seeking to add unrepresented positions to an existing bargaining unit and are unsure whether to file a representation or unit clarification petition, contact one of our Representation Administrators.

BEFORE YOU FILE

A unit clarification can only be filed by a union or employer. An individual employee cannot file a petition.

  1. Communicate the proposed change with the other parties, and determine if the other parties agree or not.
  2. Determine the current bargaining unit description, job description(s), and applicable organizational chart(s).
  3. Include the Reason for Clarification. In a separate document attach the following required information indicating:
  • any prior related decision or certification.
  • information about each position, classification, or group at issue.
  • the number of disputed employees in each position or job class.
  • the party proposing the change, and explain the reason for the petition.
  • if the parties disagree about the proposed clarification.
  • if another union claims (or may claim) to represent the employees involved in the petition, include the contact name, address, telephone, and email for all interested parties. 

WHEN TO FILE

A case can be filed at any time to address newly created positions, employees who may be eligible for interest arbitration, confidential employees, affiliation or amendment.

Supervisory or part-time Employees

A petition to add or remove supervisory or part-time employees will only be timely if:

  1. The party challenging the status of the employee has put the other party on notice during negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement; and
  2. The unit clarification petition is filed prior to the signing of the next collective bargaining agreement.

Change of circumstances and community of interest

A petition to add or remove positions to or from an existing bargaining unit due to a change of circumstances that alters the community of interest, 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.

HOW TO FILE

Email, fax, mail, or deliver a completed Unit Clarification Petition form and the Reason for Clarification to PERC and all parties as required by WAC 391-08-120. After the petition is filed, PERC will email the case number and a copy of the petition to all parties.

AFTER YOU FILE

PERC will review the information filed, determine if more information is necessary, or whether a hearing will be required. All appeal documents must comply with the service requirements at 391-08-120 WAC.

Correcting a Deficiency

Referencing the case number and the parties on the case, submit an amended Reason for Clarification or additional information addressing the deficiency to PERC by email to filing@perc.wa.gov.

Hearing

A hearing will be held to determine the timeliness of a unit clarification petition, the supervisory, confidential, or part-time status of an employee, or the appropriateness of adding or removing positions from the existing bargaining unit. Your assigned hearing officer will work with you and the other party to schedule and address the logistics for the hearing. 


Hearings are 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.

Decision

Once all necessary information has been provided to the Executive Director so that he can write a decision, a decision will be issued within 90 days. If an issue has to go to hearing a decision will be issued within 90 days after briefs are filed.

Appeals

The following timeliness standards apply to the appealing and responding party. All appeal documents must comply with the service requirements at 391-08-120 WAC. More information about unit clarification appeals can be found at 391-35-210 WAC.

Notice of Appeal
A notice of appeal is due 20 days from the date the decision is issued. That time cannot be extended. A Notice of appeal must identify the specific finding(s) of fact, conclusion(s) of law, orders, or other rulings within the decision being appealed. Give detailed information regarding the specific finding(s) appealed.

Appeal Brief
The appeal brief is due 14 days after the notice of appeal is served. That date can be extended by request to the Executive Director at filing@perc.wa.gov. The brief can be up to 25 pages, double spaced, with 12-point font.

Response Brief
The response brief is due 14 days after the appeal brief is served. That date can be extended by request to the Executive Director at filing@perc.wa.gov. The brief can be up to 25 pages, double spaced, with 12-point font.

More information about unit clarification appeals can be found at 391-35-210 WAC.

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