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The Return of the Recertification Election

Written by: Previant Law Firm

Pursuant to 2011 Wis. Act 10, public sector unions representing general employees are again being required to annually recertify that their members wish to remain represented. To recertify, each unit must obtain 51 percent of the votes of all employees in the unit.  The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission will conduct the elections.  Beginning August 30th, unions must affirmatively petition for recertification or be automatically decertified.

All elections in 2012 were stayed by pending federal litigation.  However, this will not be the case moving forward.  The WERC, proceeding on the basis of its position in the litigation, has determined the ruling by Judge Colas in Madison Teachers v. Scott Walker applies only to the plaintiffs in that litigation and not to other general employee unions. Until a decision by the Court of Appeals, the WERC will require that all other general employee unions annually recertify.

In July, the Commission announced that annual certification election balloting regarding State and school district unions will be held November 1-November 21.   Election petitions for such groups must be filed on or before August 30.

For represented municipal sector general nonschool district employees who, as of January 30, are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement or are subject to a collective bargaining agreement entered into on or after June 29, 2011 election petitions must be filed on or before January 30.

The WERC’s rules make clear that failure to file a recertification petition by the deadline results in automatic decertification of the unit.

The proposed election rules and the petition for election forms are available on the WERC’s website.

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