Thursday, February 11, 2016

Change in Recognized Labor Organization

What is the process by which a bargaining unit may change its recognized labor organization? Say for example, the police are currently represented by the Fraternal Order of Police, but the Police Benevolent and Protective Association wants to represent the police. The Illinois State Labor Relations Board has issued rules governing the change of a recognized representative. 

Board Rule 1210.10 states that the procedures contained in the Board Rules are the exclusive means by which a public employer may recognize a labor organization after August 22, 1984. Board Rule 1210.20 provides that a labor organization seeking recognition where the bargaining unit is already represented must file with the Board a representation petition seeking an election. Board Rule 1210.30 sets forth the options of the employer in responding to such a petition. The employer may (1) file a representation petition with the Board; or (2) may decline to respond. The employer may not voluntarily recognize the labor organization. 

The state Labor Relations Board has established certain windows for the filing of representation petitions when a bargaining unit is already represented. Board Rule 1210.35 establishes certain bars to petitions for representation. Where a collective bargaining agreement is three years or shorter in duration, a representation petition may only be filed during a thirty day window (between ninety and sixty days) prior to expiration of the collective bargaining agreement or any time after the collective bargaining agreement has expired. Where more than four years have elapsed since the effective date of a collective bargaining agreement, a representation petition may be filed only during the following thirty day windows: (a) between ninety and sixty days prior to the end of the fifth year of the collective bargaining agreement; or (b) between ninety and sixty days prior to the end of each successive year of such agreement.

If, as an employer, you are faced with a request to recognize a new labor organization and an existing bargaining unit already exists, you will want to consult with an experienced labor attorney to assist you in navigating the procedures as established by the Illinois State Labor Relations Board.