Representation Election Process
The Public-Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA) provides that a union may petition the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) requesting that the BMS investigate the employees' desire to certify that union as the exclusive representative for a unit of employees. The petition must be signed by at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit.
If PELRA requirements are met, the BMS will conduct a certification election. Eligible employees will choose between "no representation" or representation by the petitioning union. If "no representation" is selected by the majority of voters, unit employees would continue to have the same terms and conditions of employment they currently enjoy. If the petitioning union is selected, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for unit employees would be collectively bargained by the union and the University.
The outcome of a representation election is determined by a simple majority of employees who actually VOTE in the election, regardless of the size of the bargaining unit. Low voter turnout can have a significant impact on the election. If less than a majority of eligible voters choose to vote, the choice is made by less than a majority of the employees in the unit. It is therefore critical that all eligible voters participate fully in a representation election.