Title 21: Labor
Chapter 22: VERMONT MUNICIPAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT
21 V.S.A. § 1724. Certification procedure
§ 1724. Certification procedure
(a) A petition may be filed with the board, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the board:
(1) By an employee or group of employees, or any individual or employee organization purporting to act in their behalf, alleging that not less than 30 percent of the employees, wish to form a bargaining unit and be represented for collective bargaining, or assert that the individual or employee organization currently certified as bargaining agent is no longer supported by at least 51 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit, or that not less than 51 percent of the employees now included in an approved bargaining unit wish to form a separate bargaining unit under board criteria for purposes of collective bargaining.
(2) By the employer alleging that the presently certified bargaining unit is no longer appropriate under board criteria.
(b) The board, a member thereof, or a person or persons designated by the board shall investigate the petition, and
(1) if it finds reasonable cause to believe that a question of unit determination or representation exists, an appropriate hearing shall be scheduled before the board upon due notice. Written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by certified mail to the parties named in the petition not less than 14 calendar days before the hearing. Hearing procedure and notification of the results thereof shall be in accordance with rules prescribed by the board or
(2) dismiss the petition, based upon the absence of substantive evidence.
(c) In determining whether a question of representation exists, the board shall take into consideration the following criteria:
(1) The similarity or divergence of the interests, needs, and general conditions of employment of all employees within the proposed bargaining unit. The board may, in its discretion, require that a separate vote be taken among any particular class or type of employee within a proposed unit to determine specifically if the class or type wishes to be included. No bargaining unit shall include both professional employees and other municipal employees unless a majority of such professional employees vote for inclusion in such unit.
(2) Whether overfragmentation of units will result from certification to a degree which is likely to produce an adverse effect on the effective representation of other employees of the municipal employer or upon the effective operation of the municipal employer.
(3) In determining whether a unit is appropriate the extent to which the employees have organized is not controlling.
(d) Nothing in this chapter prohibits the waiving of hearings by stipulation for a consent election in conformity with regulations and rules of decision of the board.
(e) In determining the representation of municipal employees in a collective bargaining unit the board shall conduct a secret ballot of the employees and certify the results to the interested parties and to the employer. The original ballot shall be so prepared as to permit a vote against representation by anyone named on the ballot. No representative will be certified with less than a 51 percent affirmative vote of all votes cast. In the case where it is asserted that the certified bargaining agent is no longer supported by at least 51 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit and there is no attempt to seek the election of another employee organization or individual as bargaining representative, there shall be at least 51 percent negative vote of all votes cast to decertify the existing bargaining agent.
(f) If in such election none of the choices receive at least a 51 percent affirmative vote of all votes cast, a runoff election shall be conducted, the ballot providing for a selection between the two choices receiving the largest and second largest number of valid votes cast in the original election.
(g) The board's certification of the results of any election shall be conclusive as to findings unless reviewed under proceedings instituted for the prevention of unfair labor practices.
(h) No election may be conducted under this section in a bargaining unit or a subdivision within which in the preceding 12 months a valid election has been held. (Added 1973, No. 111, § 1; amended 1989, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.).)