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Procedures for mandated agency shop elections
The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service (SMCS) conducts agency shop elections in public agencies covered by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (Government Code 3500-3510), and in the trial courts (per Goverment Code 71632). The following procedures will be followed:
Request for Election
Only a recognized employee organization that is the exclusive or majority bargaining agent of the employees in the bargaining unit has the authority to request an agency shop election. The organization must submit the documents described below in order to proceed to election.1) An election request (the SMCS Agency Shop Election Request Form may be used), which includes:
- the name, address, telephone number and contact person for the employee organization;
- the name, address, telephone number and contact person for the employer;
- a description of the bargaining unit for which the election has been requested;
- the name(s) and classification(s) of any bargaining unit member(s) designated supervisory, management or confidential (if known);
- the approximate number of employees in the bargaining unit;
- a statement certifying that the employee organization has requested the employer to negotiate an agency shop arrangement and, beginning seven working days after receipt of the request, the two parties have had 30 calendarr days to attempt good faith negotiations in an effort to reach agreement.
- a statement certifying that an agency shop election has not been held in the bargaining unit within one (1) calendar year of the date of the request; and
- proof of service indicating that a copy of the election request has been served on the employer
Investigation of Petition
Upon receipt of the election request and other required documents, SMCS will contact the employer to request the information necessary to verify the showing of interest. The employer will provide an alphabetical list of employees in the bargaining unit to assist SMCS in the investigation of the petition. The list will include the employees' classifications, and will identify any bargaining unit employees designated supervisory, confidential, or management. The information will be provided as soon as possible, but not later than fifteen (15) business days after the request has been made.
Upon determination of the existence of the requisite showing of interest, SMCS will assign an Election Supervisor to conduct the election.
Conduct of Election
In the absence of an agreement between the parties as to the manner in which the election will be conducted, the Election Supervisor will have the discretion to determine the terms of the election. In the absence of an agreement as to the ballot language, the Election Supervisor will determine the ballot language. In the absence of agreement as to the payroll period upon which the list of eligible voters is based, the last complete payroll period prior to the date of the election will be used.
- Notice of Election: The Election Supervisor will provide the parties with a notice of election to be posted or distributed to the affected employees. The notice must be posted in a conspicuous location on the employer's premises, or distributed to all unit members, at least five (5) working days before the date of the election. The notice will state the time and place of the election, and will include a copy of the proposed agency shop provision and a sample copy of the ballot. The employer will complete and submit an Affidavit of Posting.
- Observers: The employer and the employee organization may each station one authorized observer or representative at each voting place during the election. Under the direction of the Election Supervisor, the observers may assist in the identification of voters, challenge voters and ballots, and otherwise assist the Election Supervisor. The parties will provide the names of the observers to the Election Supervisor. Failure to appoint an observer or failure of an observer to appear will be deemed a waiver of the right to station such observer.
- Secret Ballot: The election will be conducted by secret ballot. All voters will be allowed to vote without interference, restraint or coercion.
- Challenged Votes: Any observer or the Election Supervisor may challenge the eligibility of a voter. The Election Supervisor will mark the outer envelope containing the challenged ballot and subsequently determine the eligibility of the voter. The Election Supervisor will either count or reject said vote based on the eligibility list and any other information germane to the question.
- Election Results: After the conclusion of the election, the Election Supervisor will certify the result to the employer and the employee organization. There will be no other election on the question of agency shop for this unit for at least one (1) year from the date of this election.
- Confidentiality: The ballots, ballot envelopes, and other election materials are confidential and will not be released by the SMCS after the election.
Updated: April 2005