STATE OF WISCONSIN
BEFORE THE WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
In the Matter of the Petition of
WAUKESHA COUNTY TECHNICAL EDUCATORS
Involving Certain Employes of
WAUKESHA COUNTY TECHNICAL
Case 3 Case 99
No. 14667 No. 56024
Decision No. 11076-C
In the Matter of the Petition of
WAUKESHA COUNTY TECHNICAL
PART-TIME UNITED FACULTY/WEAC/NEA
Involving Certain Employes of
WAUKESHA COUNTY TECHNICAL
Decision No. 29564
Quarles & Brady, S.C., by Attorney David B. Kern,
411 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee,
Wisconsin 53202-4497, appearing on behalf of Waukesha County Technical College.
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
AND DIRECTION OF ELECTION
On January 20, 1998, the Waukesha County Technical Educators Association,
WEAC, NEA, filed a petition with the Wisconsin Employment Relations
Commission seeking an
election in a bargaining unit of certain professional employes of the Waukesha County
College described in the petition as:
All professional employees who work 50% or more excluding
supervisors, managerial, confidential,
clerical, paraprofessional, custodian/maintenance employes.
That same day, the Waukesha County Technical College Part-Time United Faculty,
WEAC, NEA, also filed a petition with the Commission seeking an election in a
bargaining unit of certain professional College employes described in the petition as:
All professional employees who are employed less than 50% but
excluding supervisors, managerial,
confidential, clerical, paraprofessional, custodian/maintenance employees.
On May 6 and 8, 1998, the parties met with Examiner Peter
Davis in an effort to resolve issues
raised by the petitions and by a Motion to Dismiss filed by the College on April 23, 1998.
proved unsuccessful and hearings were thereafter held by Examiner Davis on June 10 and
July 13, 1998.
During the hearing, the Association and United Faculty amended their election
asking that if the two proposed units were found inappropriate, then the Commission should
an accretion election among all unrepresented professionals to determine if said employes
to be represented by the Association. If the Association won the accretion election, then the
unrepresented employes would be merged with the represented employes in a new overall
professional bargaining unit. The College contends that all of the potential units sought are
inappropriate and that the only appropriate unit for the unrepresented employes is a residual
bargaining unit. Neither the Association nor United Faculty seek an election in a residual
The parties filed written argument, the last of which was received December 10,
To maximize the ability of the parties we serve to utilize the Internet
software to research decisions and arbitration awards issued by the Commission and its staff,
footnote text is found in the body of this decision.
Having considered the matter and being fully advised in the premises, the
makes and issues the following
FINDINGS OF FACT
The Waukesha County Technical College, herein the College, is a municipal
its principal offices at 800 Main Street, Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The College provides
services to certain citizens of the State of Wisconsin.
The Waukesha County Technical Educators Association, WEAC, NEA, herein the
Association, is a labor
organization which has served as the collective bargaining representative of certain
of the College since 1967. The 1995-1998 collective bargaining agreement between the
College and the
Association describes the collective bargaining unit represented by the Association as
. . . all regular full-time teaching personnel, including department
chairpersons and guidance
counselors, all regular part-time teaching personnel who teach daytime credit classes and all
regular part-time teaching personnel who teach daytime adult basic education classes.
The Waukesha County Technical College Part-time United
Faculty, WEA,NEA, herein United Faculty,
is a labor organization.
As reflected by the unit description contained in Finding of
Fact 2, the College and the Association have
consistently agreed over the years to limit the scope of the bargaining unit as to teachers to
those who teach
credit or adult basic education classes (ABE) during the day. Thus, under the parties'
who teach only in the evening are excluded from the unit without regard to how much work
performing and despite the fact that they may perform the same work as unit employes,
albeit at a different
time of day.
The existing daytime/credit or daytime/ABE unit consists of approximately 160
employes, 40 employes who work between 50% and 100% of a full-time workload
identified as Part-Time II employes), and 100 employes who work less than 50% of full-time
workload (contractually identified as Part-time I employes). Under the parties' contract, the
full-time employes are fully covered by various provisions contained therein and the
employes are covered by most contractual provisions, including placement on the full-time
salary schedule on a prorated basis. Part-time I employes receive a bargained hourly wage
to $27.20 depending on the type of class taught and the employe's years of service) but all
provisions of the contract are inapplicable to them. The College pays the approximately 550
non-unit teaching employes the same hourly wage as is received by Part-time I employes.
Under the two new bargaining units proposed by the Association and United
Faculty, all existing
unit distinctions between day and evening work and between credit and non-credit work
irrelevant. The amount of work performed (as measured by the workload formula in the
contract) would become the basis for determining in which of the two new bargaining units
employe would be included. Part-time I employes in the existing unit would be included in
"less than 50%" employe unit and those currently unrepresented employes who perform
more" of a full workload would become part of the new "50% or more" unit.
All professional employes of the College have a shared purpose of educating
The essential duties, skills and qualifications of all professional teachers employed
by the College are
fundamentally the same.
Because a "50% or more" unit will primarily consist of those employes in the
existing bargaining unit
with significant wages, fringe benefits and contractual protections, the wages, hours and
of employes in a "50% or more" unit will at least initially be significantly distinct from the
and working conditions of employes in a "less than 50%" unit.
There will be substantially more turnover among the employes in the "less than 50%"
The College exercises greater care when it hires an employe who will teach "50% or
when it hires an employe who will teach "less than 50%."
There will be some interchange between the employes in the two proposed bargaining
on changing workloads and the hiring of "less than 50%" employes to fill vacancies in the
"50% or more"
Professional teaching employes of the College are subject to limited supervision.
What supervision exists
is structured along program lines without regard to whether the employes are "50% or more"
or "less than
50%". A majority of the College's supervisors supervise employes who work "50% or
more" as well as
"less than 50%" employes.
The vast majority of the employes in the proposed "50% or more" unit work at the
Pewaukee campus. Approximately one third of the employes in the proposed "less than
50%" unit also
work at the Pewaukee campus. The "less than 50%" employes are much more likely to be
working at one
of the numerous scattered work sites in the community than are the "50% or more"
The two proposed units will not unduly fragment the professional
Based on the above and foregoing Findings of Fact, the Commission makes and
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The two proposed bargaining units of "50% or more" professional employes and
"less than 50%"
professional employes are not appropriate units for the purposes of collective bargaining
within the meaning
of Sec. 111.70(4)(d)2.a., Stats.
A collective bargaining unit consisting of all regular full-time and regular part-time
employes of the Waukesha County Technical College excluding supervisors, and
and executive employes is an appropriate unit for the purposes of collective bargaining within
of Sec. 111.70(4)(d)2.a., Stats.
3. A question concerning representation within the meaning of Secs.
111.70(4)(d)2.a., Stats. exists
within the collective bargaining unit set forth in Conclusion of Law 2.
Based on the above and foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the
and issues the following
DIRECTION OF ELECTION
An election by secret ballot shall be conducted under the direction of the Wisconsin
Relations Commission within 60 days from the date of this Direction among all regular
full-time and regular
part-time unrepresented professional employes of the Waukesha County Technical College
supervisors, and confidential, managerial and executive employes who were employed on
1999, except such employes as may prior to the election, quit their employment or be
discharged for cause,
for the purpose of determining whether a majority of such employes voting desire to be
represented for the
purposes of collective bargaining by the Waukesha County Technical Educators Association
or desire to
If a majority of the voting employes elect to be so represented by the Association, all
unrepresented professional employes and all professional employes in the existing Association
unit will then be combined in a new collective bargaining unit consisting of all regular
full-time and regular
part-time professional employes of the Waukesha County Technical College excluding
confidential, managerial and executive employes.
Given under our hands and seal at the City of Madison, Wisconsin this
25th day of February, 1999.
WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
Waukesha County Technical College
MEMORANDUM ACCOMPANYING FINDINGS
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DIRECTION OF
APPROPRIATE UNIT ISSUE
Positions of the Parties
In their initial brief, the Association and United Faculty (herein the Unions) assert
that the two
proposed bargaining units are appropriate because they allow for representation of the unique
aspirations of the "50% or more" and the "less than 50%"employes.
The Unions seek the two new units because the existing Association unit is no longer
appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining. Because the mission and educational
of the College have evolved since the unit's formation in 1967 and subsequent reformation in
1970's, the Unions contend that the existing unit does not consist of employes with a
of interest with respect to wages, hours and conditions of employment.
By contrast, the Unions claim there can be little doubt that a unit comprised of all
professional employes working "50% or more" is an appropriate bargaining unit. The
that the "50% or more" unit structure is the state-wide standard among technical colleges in
Wisconsin. This "industry standard" provides tacit recognition that such employes have a
community of interest which produces viable bargaining units. The Unions argue the
followed this industry standard in Nicolet Technical College, Dec. No. 23366 (WERC,3/86).
They contend that Nicolet establishes the Commission's recognition of the unique
and aspirations of resident faculty when compared with part-time hourly employes. The
note that the Wisconsin VTAE Board and Wisconsin VTAE certification standards define
employment and full-time employes as working "50% or more."
argue another compelling factor supporting the appropriateness of a "50% or more" unit is
that the work available to "less than 50%" employes is dependent upon there being
sufficient enrollment in the courses they teach. Thus, the Unions contend these part-time
employes cannot expect to make a career out of teaching for the College and will not share
interests in job security and retirement benefits with the "50% or more" employes.
The Unions further argue that the "50% or more" employes will see their
supervisors more often, share a more common workplace, and are more likely to perform
duties beyond teaching (service on committees, developing curriculum, keeping office
hours, attending staff meetings) than do the "less than 50%" employes. The Unions allege
there is also a substantial disparity between the wages and fringe benefits enjoyed by the
"50% or more" employes and those who work "less than 50%."
urge the Commission to discount the College's argument regarding the impact of
bargaining history when determining whether the proposed units are appropriate. The
Unions contend that the College's effort to extend the "deal is a deal" policy to election
proceedings should be rejected. They argue that their failure to attempt to organize part-time
employes with a high degree of turnover is only a reflection of the tremendous effort
required to organize such a disparate group. The Unions further note that to a large
extent, the existing bargaining unit consists of employes who work "50% or more" -- the
same unit configuration now sought. Indeed, the Unions assert that the factor of
bargaining history thus supports the proposed units because for the purposes of
compensation and fringe benefits, the College has historically dealt with the "less than
50%" employes as a group.
Given all of
the foregoing, the Unions allege the "50% or more" bargaining unit is an appropriate one.
Turning to the propriety of the "less than 50%" unit, the Unions argue that much of
evidence supporting the appropriateness of the proposed "50% or more" unit is applicable
persuasive. In addition, the Unions note that two such units currently exist following
elections at other technical colleges in Wisconsin. Further, the Unions point out that the
different recruitment and hiring procedures for the "less than 50%" employes.
Given all of the foregoing, the Unions allege that a "less than 50%" unit is also
the purposes of an election.
Commission conclude that the two proposed units are not appropriate, the Unions seek an
accretion election to determine whether all currently unrepresented professional employes
wish to become part of an overall professional unit represented by the Association. The
Unions assert that such an election would produce an appropriate bargaining unit of all
regular full-time and regular part-time professional employes if the employes select the
Association. They further allege that such an overall unit would allow the parties to
bargain a uniform system of wages, hours and conditions of employment without regard to
the existing artificial unit distinctions based on the time of day work is performed and
whether a class is "for credit."
argue that bargaining history is irrelevant to the legitimacy of an accretion election. They
assert that by its very nature, an accretion election will reconfigure the existing unit and
that the Commission has therefore never considered bargaining history when determining
the propriety of an accretion election.
Given all of the foregoing, the Unions contend that the Commission should direct an
one of the unit configurations they seek.
The College urges dismissal of the election petitions because none of the bargaining
therein sought is appropriate.
The College contends that the Unions not surprisingly give short shrift to the parties'
bargaining history which has produced the existing unit configuration. The College asserts
long and complex history has served the parties well and produced a mutually acceptable unit
employes who share a community of interest generated by their common work-all teach
credit or daytime adult basic education courses. Given this common work, the College
the employes in the existing unit also share a similarity of hours when work is performed,
supervision, and work place which distinguishes them from the non-unit teachers.
Because there have been no significant changes in the circumstances present when the
parties voluntarily created the existing bargaining unit structure, the College argues that the
Commission's "deal is a deal" policy should work against the Unions' position in this case.
College acknowledges that the "deal is a deal" policy evolved in unit clarification
asserts that conceptually the policy should be found to apply to the instant election
The College contends the two bargaining units sought by the Unions are arbitrary and
inappropriate. The College asserts that the absurdity of the Unions' position is best
by considering whether an employe with a 48% work load shares a greater community of
with an employe who has a 52% work load or with an employe who has a 10% work load.
Colleges alleges the answer is obvious and strongly at odds with the Unions' proposed use of
work load as the dividing line between the two units.
The College further contends that the Unions have not even been able to articulate
would be determined which employes fell within which unit. The Unions' statement that the
would simply apply the existing contractual "workloading formula" to determine whether an
employe is working "50% or more" is not a useful answer where, as here, the parties have
applied the workload formula to certain types of work. The College argues that the
ought not be given the "hopeless task" of guessing how employes would be placed in one or
other of the proposed units.
The College asserts that the Unions' reliance on the Nicolet decision is misplaced.
argues that the factual context before the Commission in Nicolet was substantially different
the context present herein. Among other matters, the College notes that unlike Nicolet,
employes presently excluded from the bargaining unit perform the same work and have
qualifications as unit employes.
The College argues that the existence of "50%" units elsewhere in Wisconsin and the
existence of a "50%" VTAE Board standard are both irrelevant to the outcome of this case.
from Nicolet, the "50%" units were all voluntarily established and the record does not
evidence as to the community of interest or lack thereof of the employes in said units or as to
basis upon which the parties found it acceptable to agree to their creation. What the VTAE
chooses to do for purposes unrelated to unit determinations is irrelevant to this proceeding.
Given all of the foregoing, the College asserts the two units proposed by the Unions
Turning to the Unions' alternative request for an accretion election, the College
the overall unit potentially created by such an election is not appropriate. It contends that
no community of interest between the full-time faculty and the part-time teachers and that the
interests of the full-time faculty would be submerged in such a unit.
The College alleges the only appropriate unit for an election among the non-unit
is a residual unit. Such a unit respects the parties' bargaining history and is consistent with
community of interest shared by the non-unit employes as to work hours, working
time classes), and supervision.
Inasmuch as the Unions have not asked for an election in such a residual unit, the
asks that election petitions be dismissed.
Several observations should be made at the outset. First, we would note that where
called upon to decide whether the unit or units sought are appropriate for the purposes of
bargaining, the question is not whether the unit sought is
the most appropriate unit but rather
whether the unit sought is an appropriate unit. Marinette School
District, Dec. No. 27000
(WERC, 9/91). Second, our analysis is limited to the propriety of those units within which a
seeks an election. Thus, a union's unwillingness to seek an election in an appropriate unit
by the employer does not impact on whether the unit sought by the union is
an appropriate unit.
When exercising our statutory discretion to determine whether a proposed bargaining
is appropriate, we have consistently considered the following factors:
Whether the employes in the unit sought share a "community of
interest" distinct from that
of other employes.
The duties and the skills of the employes in the unit sought as
compared with the duties and
skills of other employes.
The similarity of wages, hours and working conditions of employes in
the unit sought as
compared to the wages, hours and working conditions of other employes.
Whether the employes in the unit sought share separate of common
supervision with all
The degree to which the employes in the unit sought have a common or
Whether the unit sought will result in undue fragmentation of
We have used the phrase "community of interest" as it appears in Factor 1 as a
assessing whether the employes participate in a shared purpose through their employment.
also used the phrase "community of interest" as a means of determining whether employes
similar interests, usually though not necessarily limited to those interests
reflected in Factors 2-5.
This definitional duality is of long-standing, and has received the approval of the Wisconsin
Supreme Court. 1/
1/ Arrowhead United Teachers v. WERC, 116 Wis.2d 580, 592
. . . when reviewing the
Commission's decisions, it appears that the concept (community of interest)
involves similar interests among employes who also participate in a shared
purpose through their
employment. (Emphasis supplied)
The fragmentation criterion reflects our statutory obligation to
"avoid fragmentation by
maintaining as few units as practicable in keeping with the size of the total municipal
2/ The bargaining history criterion involves an analysis of the way in which the workforce
bargained with the employer or, if the employes have been unrepresented, an analysis of the
development and operation of the employe/employer relationship. 3/ Although listed as a
separate component, under some circumstances, analysis of bargaining history can provide
helpful insights as to how the parties, themselves, have viewed the positions in question in
from the standpoint of both similar interests and shared purpose. Based upon long-standing
Commission precedent, we believe it is well understood by the parties that within the unique
factual context of each case, not all criteria deserve the same weight 4/ and thus a single
or a combination of criteria listed above may be determinative. 5/
2/ Section 111.70(4)(d)2.a.,
3/ Marinette School
District, Dec. No. 27000 (WERC, 9/91).
School District, Dec. No. 21265 (WERC, 12/83); Green County, Dec. No.
21453 (WERC, 2/84); Marinette County, Dec. No. 26675 (WERC,
5/ Common purpose,
Madison Metropolitan School District, Dec. Nos. 20836-A and 21200
(WERC, 11/83); similar interests, Marinette School District, supra; fragmentation, Columbus
School District, Dec. No. 17259 (WERC, 9/79); bargaining history, Lodi Joint School
No. 16667 (WERC, 11/78).
Applying the foregoing to the "50% or more" and "less than
50%" units proposed by the
Unions, we find them to be inappropriate.
Looking first at the issue of Factor 1 "community of interest",
we have held and so hold
here that all professional employes of the College participate in the shared purpose of
educational services to citizens. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Dec. No. 11602-A
(WERC,11/95). This shared purpose/community of interest exists whether or not a
employe is teaching "50% or more" or "less than 50%."
As to Factor 2, the duties and skills of the teachers employed by
the College are
fundamentally the same. While employes working "less than 50%" are far less likely to
committees, do curriculum work etc., the essential duties and skills of all College teachers
same-effectively educating students in the classroom. These essential duties and skills are
by all professional educators at the College- whether or not they work "50% or more" or
than 50%." Under Wisconsin law, the certification requirements/qualifications needed to
are the same whether or not the educator works "50% or more" or "less than 50%." It is
noteworthy that employes on both sides of the proposed 50% dividing line would teach
As to Factor 3, the "50% or more" unit would primarily consist
of current bargaining unit
members who share similar wages, hours and working conditions. However, this unit will
some employes who are not currently represented and to that limited extent will include
with dissimilar wages, hours and working conditions. The employes in the "less than 50%"
will primarily come from the ranks of the currently unrepresented who share similar wages,
hours and working conditions. The currently represented employes who would be placed in
unit (the Part-time 1 employes) have acquired little beyond a wage rate through the collective
bargaining process and their wage rate is utilized by the College as the rate applicable to all
unrepresented teachers. Thus, the "less than 50%" unit would consist of employes with quite
similar wages, hours and working conditions.
The record also confirms the common sense notion that there is
much more turnover
among part-time as opposed to full-time or almost full-time (Part-time II) employes and the
related notion that part-time employes are thus much less likely than full-time employes to
their College employment as a career. Therefore, the College exercises substantially less
care when it hires a "less than 50%" part-time employe than when it
hires a "50% or more"
employe. As argued by the Unions, this evidence is generally supportive of there also being
distinctive interests on matters such as job security and retirement benefits between the
in the two proposed units.
Turning to Factor 4, the limited supervision exercised over any
College teacher is based
on the program structure of the College and not whether an employe is working "50% or
or "less than 50%." A majority of the supervisors at the College supervise employes who
"50% or more" as well as "less than 50%" employes.
Factor 5 presents a mixed picture. The vast majority of the
"50% or more" unit employes
and about a third of the "less than 50%" employes teach at the College's main Pewaukee
The "less than 50%" employes are much more likely to work at the numerous scattered
locations than are the "50% or more" employes.
As to Factor 6, given the size of the workforce, the two
proposed bargaining units would
not constitute undue fragmentation contrary to the dictates of Sec. 111.70(4)(d) 2.a., Stats.
Lastly, we look at Factor 7 "bargaining history." For the last
30 years, the parties have
bargained within the context of a unit they themselves defined. The proposed units mix
who are in the existing bargaining unit with those who are not and thus conflict with the long
standing manner in which the College has dealt with its represented and unrepresented
Reviewing the evidence as to Factors 1-5, although it is a close
question, we do not find
definitive support for the Unions' position that the two proposed units will each consist of
employes with a distinctive and cohesive community of interest.
All employes have a "shared purpose", and essentially the same
qualifications and supervision. Work locations are shared to some extent by the employe in
proposed units, although a substantial preponderance of each unit will tend to work at
sites. Thus, as to Factors 1-5, only Factor 3 and to lesser extent Factor 5 provide substantial
support for there being a distinctive community of interest between the two
Important to our determination is our unwillingness to accept the
concept that an
educator working 48% of the time has a distinctive community of interest from the 52%
If there were no actual employes whose workloads fall within close proximity of the "50%"
demarcation line, we could justifiably be criticized for using a theoretical argument with no
world consequences. However, the evidence in this case demonstrates that our concern is
simply theoretical. There are significant numbers of employes whose workload appears to
typically fall within close proximity to the "50%" line. Although the record does not provide
definitively accurate view of the numbers of employes working various
percentages (despite the best efforts of the parties), 40-50 employes
may be employed 50-59% with
at least an equivalent number being employed 40-49%.
While the proposed units do not run afoul of the statutory
prohibition against undue
fragmentation, the evidence as to bargaining history works strongly against a conclusion that
two proposed units are appropriate for the purposes of collective
Given the lack of sufficient "community of interest" support for
the proposed units and
the disruption they represent to the existing bargaining relationship, we conclude they are not
Our conclusion is not at odds with the Commission's 1986
decision in Nicolet. Because
there was no existing long standing bargaining relationship present in Nicolet, the
history" factor did not play a significant role in the Commission's analysis. Further, the
of Fact in Nicolet contain more evidence supportive of a viable "50%" community of interest
standard than is present in this record.
As argued by the College, the existence of voluntarily created
"50%" units in other
Wisconsin technical colleges is not particularly relevant to this proceeding. Our task is to
the issue based on the evidence presented as to this College and its professional
Similarly, we give no weight to the VTAE standards cited by
the Unions. Those standards
reflect the judgments of a different agency applying a different statute reflecting different
Having concluded that the two proposed units are not
appropriate, we turn to the question
of whether the alternative of an accretion election is viable.
An accretion election would give the currently unrepresented
employes the opportunity
to decide whether they wished to be represented by the Association for the purposes of
bargaining. If the Association was selected, the unrepresented employes would join the
represented employes as part of a new overall bargaining unit consisting of all regular
and regular part-time employes.
Measuring the appropriateness of such an overall unit in terms
of community of interest
(Factor 1 alone and Factors 2-5), it is apparent that an overall unit passes muster. As
earlier herein, all regular full-time and regular part-time employes share a common
purpose. They share common duties and skills, qualifications, supervision and to some
work places. We acknowledge that such a unit would combine employes with presently
wages, hours and conditions of employment.
An overall unit is obviously consistent with the fragmentation
concerns reflected in Factor
As to Factor 7, an overall unit does run afoul the bargaining
history criterion inasmuch
as it disrupts the existing bargaining relationship.
The College strenuously argues that an overall unit is
inappropriate because the interests
of the full-time faculty will be submerged and the existing bargaining relationship disrupted.
However, on balance, we are persuaded that the community of interest factors discussed
are sufficient to overcome these legitimate concerns and warrant a conclusion that an overall
is appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining.
The Association asserts that if current unit employes also
perform the same work as the
currently unrepesented employes, said employes should be eligible to vote in the accretion
election. The College disagrees contending the Association is "trying to have its cake and
We conclude no employes in the existing unit are eligible to
vote in the accretion election.
The accretion election is among currently unrepresented employes. If we were to allow
bargaining unit employes to vote, we would in effect be allowing employes to vote on
join themselves. Thus, we reject the Association's position as to this voter eligibility
Because some employes regularly teach a class which is offered
only once a year (i.e.
during the summer, fall or spring semesters), the parties have agreed that any employes
at least 12 hours during one of several semesters is eligible to vote. They disagree as to
semesters should be used to determine eligibility. The Association proposes a three semester
period which would end with the semester in which the election petitions were filed (i.e.
1998). The College argues for use of a six semester period ending with the semester during
the Commission directs an election.
Absent agreement by the parties, our standard practice is to use
the date the Direction of
Election is issued as the basis for determining voter eligibility. This practice reflects the
appropriate interest in having the most current employe complement determine the question
representation. We see no reason to depart from that standard here. Therefore, employes
meet the 12 hour eligibility standard for the current spring of 1999 semester are obviously
to vote. Based on the record before us as to courses not being taught every semester, we
conclude it is appropriate to incorporate the preceding two semesters as well. Thus,
be based on meeting the 12 hour standard during either the summer of 1998 semester, the
1998 semester or the spring of 1999 semester. However, as stated during the hearing and
reflected in our Direction of Election, any employe who met the eligibility standard in the
summer or fall of 1998 semesters but who has since been discharged for cause or quit
employment is not eligible to vote.
The parties agree that employes who work only as substitute
teachers are not eligible to
vote. They disagree as to whether substitute hours worked by a regular part-time employe
be counted toward the 12 hour eligibility standard. The Association asserts that to the extent
work in question is bargaining unit work performed by a regular part-time employe,
work should be counted. The College argues the substitute work is done on a casual or
occasional basis, the work hours should not count. In the context of this case, we conclude
if an employe routinely accepted substitute work such that it became part of the employes
work during at least two of the three eligibility semesters, such substitute hours should be
for the purposes of eligibility.
The parties disagree over how the election should be conducted.
The Association seeks
an on-site election at the Pewaukee and Waukesha campuses. The College seeks a mail
In the most recent comparable election we have conducted
among professional employes
of a VTAE college with multiple work sites [Madison VTAE College, Dec. No. 28655-A
(WERC, 4/96)], we determined that a mix of on-site balloting and mail balloting best served
interests of the eligible voters and our need to efficiently use our limited resources. We will
conduct such a mixed balloting process here.
Lastly, we note that because the election potentially affects the
existing unit, we have
reopened our file in Waukesha County Technical College, Case 3, and added those case
numbers to the decision caption.
Dated at Madison, Wisconsin this 25th day of
WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
James R. Meier, Chairperson
Henry Hempe, Commissioner
Paul A. Hahn, Commissioner