City of Sammamish Employees are Seeking Union Representation by the WSCCCE

Release Date: June 04, 2019

Note: The headline for this article was changed on June 13 for clarity; no other changes have been made to the article.

On May 16, 2019, the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (WSCCE) filed a petition with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) seeking to certify “All employees of the City of Sammamish excluding supervisors and confidential employees” as a recognized collective bargaining unit in Sammamish.

To ensure that all city employees were aware of the representation proceeding and in accordance with PERC rules, the City posted copies of the PERC notice and petition at multiple places in City Hall and at the Maintenance and Operations Center.

In addition, the City responded to PERC with organizational charts and a list of the names and addresses of all the employees on the City’s payroll who occupy the positions or classifications of the type described on the petition with exclusions noted on May 31, 2019.

What Happens Next?

PERC will determine whether a sufficient showing of interest exists by verifying signature cards submitted with the petition. At least 30 percent of those in the potential bargaining unit must show interest to proceed; the City has identified approximately 100 people in the group. If a sufficient showing of interest is verified, PERC will likely hold an election following an investigation conference. If the petition is supported by signature cards from more than 70 percent of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit, a cross-check of records may be conducted in lieu of an election.

Representation elections shall be decided by a majority of those voting. If the election ends in a tie, no representation will be certified. The election may occur by mail, phone or online. After the election, the ballots will be tallied by PERC.

If no objections are filed and challenges do not affect the outcome of the election, the tally results will be certified eight days after the tally is issued. If there are any objections or challenges to the election, the certification will only be issued after such matters are resolved.

What Changes Will We See if City Employees Unionize?

Sammamish citizens and customers will not likely see any changes to City services as a result of employee unionization.

Washington State is the third most unionized state in the country, and union certification efforts like this are common. All employees have the right to seek to unionize and the City supports employees’ rights to determine for themselves whether or not they think unionization is beneficial.