Article II - Representation Proceedings

Employee Relations 750

Section 3. Filing of Recognition Petition by Employee Organization

An employee organization that seeks to be formally acknowledged as the recognized employee organization representing the employees in an appropriate unit shall file a petition with the Employee Relations Officer containing the following information and documentation:

  1. Name and address of employee organization.
  2. Names and titles of its officers.
  3. Names of employee organization representatives who are authorized to speak on behalf of the organization.
  4. A statement that the employee organization has, as one of its primary purposes, representing employees in their employment relations with the County.
  5. A statement whether the employee organization is a chapter of, or affiliated directly or indirectly in any manner, with a local, regional, state, national or international organization, and, if so, the names and addresses of each such other organization.
  6. Certified copies of the employee organization’s constitution and by-laws.
  7. A designation of those persons, not exceeding two in number, and their addresses, to whom notice sent by regular United States mail will be deemed sufficient notice on the employee organization for any purpose.
  8. A statement that the employee organization has no restriction on membership based on race, color, creed, sex or national origin.
  9. The job classifications or titles of employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate and the approximate number of member employees therein.
  10. A petition signed by thirty per cent of the employees in unit claimed to be appropriate thereby designating the employee organization to represent them in their employment relations with the County. Such written proof shall be submitted for confirmation to Employee Relations Officer.
  11. A request that the Employee Relations Officer formally acknowledge to petitioner as the recognized employee organization representing the employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate for the purpose of meeting and conferring in good faith.

The petition, including all accompanying documents, shall be accompanied by an affidavit by the duly authorized officer(s) of the employee organization executing it is true, correct and complete.

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Section 4. County Response to Recognition Petition

Upon receipt of the Petition, the Employee Relations Officer shall determine whether:

  1. There has been compliance with the requirements of the Recognition Petition, and
  2. The proposed representation unit is an appropriate unit in accordance with Section 8 of this Article II.

If an affirmative determination is made by the Employee Relations Officer on the foregoing two matters, he shall so inform the petitioning employee organization, shall give written notice of such request for recognition to the employees in the unit and shall take no action on said request for thirty days (30) days thereafter. If either of the foregoing matters are not affirmatively determined, the Employee Relations Officer shall offer to meet and confer thereon with such petitioning employee organization if it has been previously recognized by the County or shall consult with such petitioning employee organization if it has not been previously recognized by the County, and, if such determination thereafter remains unchanged, shall inform that organization of the reasons there for in writing. The petitioning employee organization may appeal such determination in accordance with Section 10 of this Resolution.

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Section 5. Open Period for Filing Challenging Petition

Within fifteen (15) days of the date written notice was given to affected employees that a valid recognition petition for an appropriate unit has been filed, any other employee organization may file a competing request to be formally acknowledged as the recognized employee organization of the employees in the same or in an overlapping unit (one which corresponds with respect to some but not all the classifications or positions set forth in the recognition petition being challenged), by filing a petition in the same form and manner as set forth in Section 3 of this Article II. If such challenging petition seeks establishment of an overlapping unit, the Employee Relations Officer shall call for a hearing on such overlapping petitions for the purpose of ascertaining the more appropriate unit, at which time the petitioning employee organizations shall be heard.

Thereafter, the Employee Relations Officer shall determine the appropriate unit or units in accordance with the standards in Section 8 of this Article II. The petitioning employee organizations shall have fifteen (15) days from the date notice of such unit determination is communicated to them by the Employee Relations Officer to amend their petitions to conform to such determination or to appeal such determination pursuant to Section 10 of this Article II.

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Section 6. Election Procedure

The Employee Relations Officer shall arrange for a secret ballot election to be conducted by the California State Conciliation Service in accordance with its rules and procedures subject to the provisions of this resolution, or by another party engaged by the County and the concerned employee organization(s). All employee organizations who have duly submitted petitions which have been determined to be in conformance with this Article II shall be included on the ballot. The choice of “Ano organization” shall also be included on the ballot.

Employees entitled to vote in such election shall be those persons employed in regular allocated positions within the designated appropriate unit who were employed during the pay period immediately prior to the date which ended at least fifteen (15) days before the date the election commences, including those who did not work during such period because of illness, vacation or authorized leaves of absence, and who are employed by the County in the same unit on the date of the election.

Temporary and intermittent extra-help employees who have actually worked during a minimum of 6 out of the previous 13 pay periods and have worked a minimum of 500 hours in the 12 months prior to the date the election commences and are in active status on the date of the election in a job classification in the designated appropriate unit shall also be entitled to vote in such election. A seasonal extra-help employee who has returned to County employment for at least the second season and has worked a minimum of 500 hours in a classification in the designated appropriate unit shall be entitled to vote in such an election if the employee is in active status on the date the election commences. Nothing in this resolution shall in any way be construed as conferring property rights on these employees. Extra-help employees as defined above shall only be entitled to vote in elections involving a unit that includes or seeks to include extra-help employees.

An employee organization shall be formally acknowledged as the recognized employee organization for the designated appropriate unit following an election or run-off election if it received a numerical majority of all valid votes cast in the election. If an election involving three or more choices, where none of them received a majority of the valid votes cast, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two choices receiving the largest number of valid votes cast; the rules governing an initial election being applicable to a run-off election.

There shall be no more than one valid election under this resolution pursuant to any petition in a 12-month period affecting the same unit.

In the event that the State Conciliation Service is unable or unwilling to provide any of the services required of it under this Section, another impartial third party agreed to by the County and the concerned employee organization(s), shall perform said services.

Costs of conducting elections shall be borne in equal shares by the County and each employee organization appearing on the ballot.

In the event the petitioning organization has a majority of the employees in an appropriate unit currently on dues deduction and no valid challenging petition has been filed, the County shall formally acknowledge the employee organization as the recognized employee organization.

In the event that no agreement is reached among affected employee organizations for the conduct of secret ballot elections, the Employee Relations Officer shall, upon approval by the Board of Supervisors, provide for the conduct of secret ballot elections without a signed agreement by the County Elections Department. The costs of said elections shall be borne by the County. (Added May 4, 1976, B/S Resolution #53538.)

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Section 7. Procedure for Decertification of Recognized Employee Organization

A Decertification Petition alleging that the incumbent recognized employee organization no longer represents a majority of the employees in the established appropriate unit may be filed with the Employee Relations Officer only during the month of December of any year following the commencement of the first full year of recognition, except that, if a Memorandum of Understanding is in effect, said petition is to be filed during the thirty (30) day period commencing two hundred and seventy (270) days prior to the termination date of a Memorandum of Understanding then having been in effect less than three (3) years.

The Decertification Petition shall include an allegation that the incumbent recognized employee organization no longer represents a majority of the employees in a given appropriate unit and shall contain the signatures of a minimum of 30% of the employees in the recognized bargaining unit.

The Employee Relations Officer shall initially determine whether the Decertification Petition and accompanying Recognition Petition if any, have been filed in compliance with the applicable provisions of this Article II. If his/her determination is in the negative, he/she shall offer to consult thereon with the representative(s) of such petitioning employees or employee organization, and, if such determination thereafter remains unchanged, shall return such Petition(s) to the employees or employee organization with a statement of the reasons therefore in writing. The petitioning employees or employee organization may appeal such determination in accordance with Section 10 of this Article II. If the determination of the Employee Relations Officer is in the affirmative, or if his/her negative determination is reversed on appeal, he/she shall give written notice of such Decertification Petition and any accompanying Recognition Petition to unit employees and the affected employee organization.

The Employees Relations Officer shall thereupon arrange for a secret ballot election to be held on or about fifteen (15) days after such notice to determine the wishes of unit employees as to the question of decertification, and, if an accompanying Recognition Petition was duly filed, and, in the event decertification of the incumbent recognized employee organization is voted, the question of representation. Such election shall be conducted in conformance with Section 6 of this Article II.

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Section 8. Policy and Standards for Determination of Appropriate Units

The basic policy objectives in determining the appropriateness of units shall be the effect of a proposed unit on (1) the efficient operations of the County and its compatibility with the primary responsibility of the County and its employees to effectively and economically serve the public, and (2) providing employees with effective representation based on recognized community of interest considerations. These policy objectives require that the appropriate unit shall be the broadest feasible grouping of positions that share an identifiable community of interest. In determining the broadest feasible grouping of positions that share an identifiable community of interest, consideration shall be given to similarity of the general kinds of work performed, types of qualifications required, and the general working conditions; history of representation in the County and similar employment; except, however, that no unit shall be deemed to be an appropriate unit solely on the basis of the extent to which employees in the proposed unit have organized; consistency with the organizational patterns of the County; number of employees and job classifications, and the effect on the administration of employer-employee relations created by the fragmentation of classifications and proliferation of units; and the effect on the classification structure and impact on the stability of the employer-employee relationship of dividing a single or related classifications among two or more units.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, Management, Confidential and Supervisory employees may only belong to a unit composed solely of other Management, Confidential or Supervisory employee, respectively. Management and Confidential employees may not represent any employee organization which represents other employees except as representatives for their own respective bargaining units. Professional employees shall not be denied the right to be represented in a separate unit from non-professional employees.

The Employee Relations Officer shall, after notice to and meeting and conferring with affected employee organizations, allocate new job classifications or positions, delete eliminated classifications or positions, and retain, reallocate or delete modified classifications or positions from units in accordance with the provisions of the Section.

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Section 9. Procedure for Modification of Established Appropriate Units

Requests by employee organizations for modifications of established appropriate units may be considered by the Employee Relations Officer only during the period specified in Section 7 of this Article II. The relevant period is that which pertains to the bargaining unit from which the positions or job classifications are requested to be removed. Such requests shall be submitted in the form of a Recognition Petition, and, in addition to the requirements set forth in Section 3 of this Article, shall continue a complete statement of all relevant facts and citations in support of the proposed modified unit in terms of the policies and standards set forth in Section 8 hereof. Signatures of 30% of the employees in classifications that the employee organization is seeking to modify shall be submitted with the petition. The Employee Relations Officer shall process such petitions as other Recognition Petitions under this Article II.

The Employee Relations Officer may, on his/her own motion, propose during the period specified in Section 7 of this Article, that an established unit be modified. The Employee Relations Officer shall give written notice of the proposed modification(s) to any affected employee organization and shall meet and confer over the proposed modification(s), with all affected employee organizations. Therefore the employee Relations Officer shall determine the composition of the appropriate unit or units in accordance with Section 8 of this Article II, and shall give written notice and reasons for such determination to the affected employee organizations. Disputes over the Employee Relations Officer’s determination shall be resolved through the impasse procedure specified in Article IV of this Article. If the employees are moved, pursuant to the motion of the Employee Relations Officer, from one bargaining unit to another bargaining unit represented by the same recognized employee organization, neither a recognition petition nor an election is required.

If employees are designated as Confidential or Administrative Management pursuant to a motion of the Employee Relations Officer, neither a recognition petition nor an election is required.

If a unit is modified, pursuant to the motion of the Employee Relations Officer, by placing hitherto unrepresented positions or job classifications into a bargaining unit represented by a recognized employee organization, a petition signed by 30% of the employees in those hitherto unrepresented positions or job classifications may be filed within 30 days of notification of the change requesting a referendum on the bargaining unit change. An election will thereafter be held in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 6 with only two choices on the ballot: “remain unrepresented” or “be placed into the designated unit”. The outcome of the election shall be determined in the same manner as election conducted under Section 6 for recognition petitions.

If a unit is modified pursuant to the motion of the Employee Relations Officer such that a new unit is created or that an existing unit is substantially modified so that it represents a different community of interest, employee organizations may thereafter file Recognition Petitions seeking to become the recognized employee organization for such new appropriate unit or units pursuant to Section 3.

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Section 10. Appeals

If the meet and confer process over the appropriate unit determination reaches impasse as defined in this resolution, the impasse procedures of Article IV of this resolution shall be utilized to resolve the dispute.

An employee organization aggrieved by a determination of the Employee Relations Officer that a Recognition Petition (Section 3); Challenging Petition (Section 5); or Decertification Petition (Section 7) - or employees aggrieved by a determination of the Employee Relations Officer that a Decertification Petition (Section 7) - has not been filed in compliance with the procedural requirements of the Article, may, within fifteen (15) days of notice of such determination, appeal his/her determination to the Board of Supervisors for final decision.

Appeals to the Board of Supervisors shall be filed in writing with the Assistant Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, and a copy thereof served on the Employee Relations Officer. The Board of Supervisors shall commence to consider the matter within thirty (30) days of the filing of the appeal and its decision shall be final and binding.

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