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STATE OF CONNECTICUT
LABOR DEPARTMENT

CONNECTICUT STATE BOARD OF LABOR RELATIONS

In the matter of :
:
STATE OF CONNECTICUT (NP-6)
Case No. SE-7429
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CONNECTICUT EMPLOYEES UNION "INDEPENDENT" : Decision No. 2178

-and- :
: January 12, 1983
DISTRICT 1199, NEW ENGLAND HEALTH CARE :
EMPLOYEES UNION, AFL-CIO

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- E- A- R-A-N-C-E -S -:
Scott Schwartz, Labor Relations Advisor
for the State

James J. Roach, Representative


for CEUI

John M. Creane, Esq.


for District 1199

DECISION
and
DISMISSAL 3F OBJECTIONS
On August 30, 1982, the Connecticut Employees Union "Independent", here-
inafter “CEUI”, filed with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations,
hereinafter the "Board" a petition pursuant to Section 5-275 of the Act
Concerning Collective Birgaining for State Employees, hereinafter the Act,
alleging that a question or controversy had arisen concerning the representa-
tion of certain employees of the State of Connecticut known as the NP-6 Unit.
At the time of the filing of this petition the NP-6 Unit was represented by
District 1199, New England Health Care Employees Union, AFL-CIO, hereinafter
“1199.”
On August 31, 1982, CEUI delivered to the Board's Agent, 1,671 cards
which CEUI claims demonstrate a showing of interest on the part of at least
thirty percent (30%) of the approximately 4,914 bargaining unit employees
sought to be represented by CEUI. Thereafter, the Agent requested and later
received from the State of Connecticut a list and signature cards of the
employees of the NP-6 Unit.

The Agent determined the following:

Number of Eligible Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,914


Minimum Number of Employees required for showing of
interest (30%) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,474
Number of cards submitted by CEUI . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,671
Number of cards validated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501
Number of cards invalidated .,.............................. 1,170
Number not validated because language
on card insufficient....................1,157
Not validated, other or additional
reasons* . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

* Ninety-one (91) of these one hundred and four (164) cards did not state a
desire to be represented by CEUI and are therefore also included in the 1,157
invalidated for that reason.
Having found an insufficient showing of interest, the Agent, on September
20, 1982, recommended dismissal of the petition.

On September 28, 1982, CEUI filed objections and a brief in opposition to


the Aqent's recommendation. On October.1, 1982. a hearino was held at which
all parties appeared and were provided the opportunity to-present evidence,
examine and cross-examine witnesses and make argument. Written briefs were
filed by CEUI and 1199. The State of Connecticut took a position of neutrality.

Discussion

Section 5-275 of the Act provides:

(a)(l) On and after October 1, 1975, any interested organization may


notify the state board of labor relations that thirty percent or more
of the emolovees in a baraainina unit established under sections
5-270 to 5-280, inclusive; desiFe to be exclusively represented for
the purposes of collective barqaininq within the unit by the petition-
ing organization and request the designation of said organization as
their exclusive representative. (emphasis added)

In the administration of Section 5-275 of the Act, the Board promulgated


Section 5-273-13 of State of Connecticut Regulations, Department of Labor,
Board of Labor Relations, which provides:

5-273-13. Duties of agent


(a) When a notification has been filed, the Aqent shall confer
with and may hold informal conferences with the interested parties
and ascertain the facts. He shall ascertain the number of employees
desiring the petitioner to represent them by making a card check or
by such other appropriate means as he shall determine. In makin a
card check the Agent may use the criteria set out in subsection 9 b)
of this section. He shall encourage the parties to agree upon the
appropriate unit. Whenever the Agent finds that the parties are un-
able to settle the controversy concerning representation without a
hearing by the Board he shall within seven (7) days thereafter assign
the matter for a hearing before the Board.
(b) Proof of an employee's desire for representation may be
established as follows: The organization may present to the Agent
membership or application for membership cards or collective bar-
gaining authorization cards containing the following information:
(1) The date the cards are signed by the employees.
(2) The cards must be dated and signed prior to the filing of
notification by the organization with the Board, and must contain the
printed or typewritten name of the signer as well as his signature.
(3) The cards will be void if signed beyond a year before the
filing of notification with the Board.
(4) The cards must be obtained during the organizational cam-
paign which culminated in the petition.
(5) The card itself must state the employee's wish to be
represented by the organization.

Although other questions were raised, the dispositive issue is whether


the cards submitted demonstrate on the part of the employees a "desire to be
exclusively represented for the purposes of collective bargaining...by the
petitioning organization and request the designation of said organization as
their exclusive representative."

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The 501 cards validated by the Agent are as follows:

1 1
"IXDEPENDENT" UNION IYTENT CAR0 '
t
PLEASE PRINT

My name is . 1
L
My address is Apt. No.

City or Town Telephone

Employed at Job Title

Shift

I hereby designate the "Independent" union to represent me :”


in collective bargaining negotiations on wages, hours, and
working conditions.

Signature
Signing this Intent Card does not make you a member or
require you to pay any dues or fees. Thank you!
,
The 1157 cards invalidated by the Agent are as follows:

'INDEPENDENT" UNION INTENT CARD

PLEASE PRINT

My name is

My address is Apt. No.

City or Town Telephone

Employed at Job Title

Shift

Signature
Signing this Intent Card does not make you a member or
require you to pay any dues or fees. Thank you!

The flawed cards simply do not comply with Section 5-273-13(b)(5) which
provides: "The card itself must state the employee's wish to be represented
by the organization."'(emphasis added). Those cards bearing the legend,
"I hereby designate the 'Independent' union to represent me in collective
bargaining negotiations on wages, hours, and working conditions," comply.
The others do not. See State of Connecticut, Decision No. 1686 (1978).

This is not to say that the language chosen by CEUI on the validated cards
is in some fashion immutable or are the only words of art. It is to say that
some language clearly expressing a wish or desire to be represented by the
petitioning organization must be present on whatever document signed by the

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employee is presented to the Board. (This is, of course, in addition to the
other requirements of the Act and the Regulations.)

The arguments proffered by CEUI appear to be:

(1) The word "intent" on the card is sufficient to comply


with the statute and regulation.

(2) The Agent may take some unspecified affirmative step


or action in addition to verifying what is presented
to him by the petitioning organization.

With respect to whether the word "intent" is sufficient, CEUI claims that
"everybw... who has seen these cards knows that it is an 'intent' card" and
that "/e/verybody who has anything to do with the Agent knows that the intent...is
for the 'Independent' Union...". It may be that persons connected with labor
administration, the Board, the Agent, personnel employed by labor organizations
and employer labor relations personnel know the purpose of what have been called
"intent' cards. However, the Act and its regulations were not created for the
benefit of persons connected with labor administration. They were created for
employees. For this reason the Act and regulations clearly set out the require-
ments which a labor organization must satisfy when it wishes to represent a group
of employees. When those requirements are not met by the petitioning organiza-
tion the Board cannot and will not unreasonably impute certain knowledge on the
part of individual employees to satisfy those requirements as the petitioner
would have us do here. When dealing directly with the intent of employees, the
peculiar jargon of labor relations will not replace clear and unambiguous language.

As to the duties of the Agent, in this situation, beyond fairly and equitably
weighing what is presented to him in accordance with the Act and the regulations
by the petitioning organization, there are none. The function of the Agent is
to ascertain whether the material presented to him demonstrates a thirty percent
showing of interest. The clear meaning of Section 5-273-13(b) of our regulations
is that the petitioning organization may choose whatever method it desires to
establish a sufficient showing of interest, i.e.;cards, petition, letters, affi-
davits, etc. If the card is selected and cards are therefore submitted, they
must comply with the express language of Section 5-273-13(b) of the Regulations
which provides "the card itself must state the employee's wish to be represented
by the organization." If the cards on their face do not comply, the Agent cannot
and should not go further.

Dismissal of Objections

By virtue of and pursuant to the power vested in the Connecticut State Board -
of Labor Relations by the Act Concerning Collective Bargaining for State Employees,
it is

DETERMINED, that the objections to the Agent's dismissal are hereby dismissed
and the Agent's dismissal is hereby confirmed.

CONNECTICUT STATE BOARD OF LABOR RELATIONS

BY s/ Victor M. Ferrante
Victor M. Ferrante, Chairman

s/ Kenneth A. Stroble
Kenneth A. Stroble

s/ Patricia V. Low
Patricia V. Low

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