Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Local 1000 Fair Share Fee Rescission Vote

The state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently conducted a fair share fee rescission election for Bargaining Unit 1 employees in civil service, represented by CSEA affiliate SEIU Local 1000. The rescission did not pass, and Unit 1 employees will continue to pay fair share fees.

Some background:
Unit 1 consists of about 43,000 "Administrative, Financial & Staff Services" employees in state civil service (not CSU employees). Local 1000's web site describes Unit 1 as including "accounting officers, auditors, and analysts for all departments, employment program representatives at EDD, disability evaluators at the Department of Health Services, and information technology analysts."

Rescission is not decertification; it does away with the fair share fees paid by non-members while leaving the union as the exclusive representative. Rescission of fair share fees is covered under Government Code 3515.7(d). Petitions requesting an election on rescission of the fair share fee are submitted to PERB, with signatures of 30 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit. The election is conducted by secret ballot. Rescission requires a majority vote of eligible employees.

News reports say about 13,000 employees signed the petitions requesting a fair share fee rescission election. PERB posted this announcement, dated November 13, on their web site:

In response to a petition demonstrating that at least 30% of the employees in State Bargaining Unit 1 - Administrative, Financial & Staff Services, desired an election, PERB has scheduled a mail ballot fair share fee rescission election in the unit. The timing and mechanics of the election are established by a Consent Election Agreement entered into by representatives of the petitioner, SEIU Local 1000, and the Department of Personnel Administration. A link to the Posted Notice of Election is available below.

Posted Notice of Election.pdf
Local 1000 mounted a campaign to persuade bargaining unit members to keep fair share fees. Site visits, phone banking, and email all were used in an effort to convey the value of fair share fees and convince bargaining unit members to vote "no" on rescission.

The election ran from November 27 to December 26, 2007. PERB announced on December 28 that "a majority of the eligible voters did not vote to rescind the fair share fee requirement." Out of 44,187 eligible voters, only 17,695 ballots were returned. The ballots were not counted, because a majority of the bargaining unit members did not return ballots to PERB.

Links (updated January 2):

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