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Local Governments and School Districts Blog

Initial Certification of General Employee Elections Require 51% of All Eligible to Vote

Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys
Posted on July 22, 2015
Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

With the Budget Bill from the 2015 Legislature now in effect, it should be noted a change was made in how election results are determined for newly represented general municipal employees.  2015 Wisconsin Act 55 (the Budget Bill) provides that in elections conducted after July 13, 2015, general municipal employee unions seeking initial certification to represent a collective bargaining unit must receive a positive vote from at least 51% of all of the general employees eligible to vote in a collective bargaining unit in order to be certified to represent the general employees.

Prior to the Budget Bill, the 51% rule only applied to general municipal unions previously authorized to represent general employees as required in the annual certification process and to be recertified to represent the collective bargaining unit for an additional year.  See, Section 111.70(4)(d)3.b., Wis. Stat.  The 51% rule of all eligible to vote did not apply to those elections where general municipal employee unions were seeking initial certification. 

This change closes the gap and makes the voting rule the same for initial certifications as for annual recertifications for general municipal employees.  Municipal employers should keep this in mind if presented with a situation of an initial certification of a general municipal union.