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A. Appropriate New Bargaining Unit.

1. Factors. The district employee relations officer shall review the request filed by an employee organization seeking formal voluntary recognition as the exclusive representative of a defined bargaining unit, and shall determine whether the proposed bargaining unit is an appropriate and authorized unit. In the establishment of appropriate units, professional employees shall not be denied the right to be represented separately from nonprofessional employees. The principal criterion in making this determination is whether employees in the proposed unit have a community of interest. The district employee relations officer shall also consider the following factors in making such determination:

a. The unit, if any, that will assure employees the fullest freedom in the exercise of rights set forth under this chapter.

b. The history of employee relations (i) in the unit, (ii) among other employees of the district, and (iii) in similar public employment units.

c. The effect of the unit on the efficient operation of the district and sound employer-employee relations.

d. The extent to which employees have common skills, working conditions, job duties, performance rating standards, educational requirements, and/or supervision as well as interchangeability of skills.

e. The effect on the existing classification structure of dividing a single classification among two or more units.

2. Content and Timing of Petition. An employee organization may at any time propose that a bargaining unit, comprised of unrepresented classifications, be created by filing a voluntary recognition request or a petition for recognition, pursuant to CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1) through (A)(2), by filing this request or petition with the district employee relations officer. A petition for a new bargaining unit shall include information sufficient to satisfy the requirements of CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1)(a) (voluntary recognition) or CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(2)(a) (petition).

3. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall determine whether or not there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section. If the district employee relations officer so determines, the officer shall (a) advise all employees in the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days; and (b) shall serve notice of the filing on all exclusive recognized employee organizations.

4. Contest to the Determination that the Petition Does Not Comply. If the district employee relations officer determines that the petition is not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section, the officer shall so notify the petitioning employee organization. If the petitioning employee organization contests the finding that the petition was not in compliance, it may file a contest, in writing, with the district employee relations officer within 30 days after service of notice that the petition was not in compliance. If the contest is not granted by the officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing to determine compliance with the process provided for in this section. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the contest. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section, the petition shall be dismissed. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was in compliance, the petition shall be processed in accordance with this section.

5. No Challenges to Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. If no challenge is filed by any employee organization within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall submit the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit to the board.

6. Challenges to the Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. Within 30 days after mailing notice of the filing of the petition, a challenge may be filed, in writing, with the district employee relations officer by an employee organization. A challenge shall state the grounds for the challenge, clearly indicating the reasons why the proposed new unit is not appropriate. Any challenge filed by an employee organization shall be accompanied by proof of support of 10 percent or more of the employees in the newly proposed authorized employee representation unit unless the challenging employee organization is the incumbent representative of employees in the proposed unit. “Proof of support” for purposes of this section shall mean individually signed employee authorization cards dated within the 30-day challenge period setting forth the intent of employees with respect to representation by the employee organization.

7. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the unit, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall (a) grant or deny the challenge, or (b) recommend modification of the proposed new authorized employee representation unit. If the hearing officer recommends the creation of the new authorized employee representation unit, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

8. Creation of New Authorized Employee Representation Unit. The recommendation of the hearing officer regarding modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new bargaining units are subject to and effective upon approval of the board.

B. Assignment of New Classifications to Bargaining Units. The unit assignment process is used to determine the placement of a newly created classification in an authorized employee bargaining unit based upon the existing unit descriptions and duties of the new classification. The district employee shall review the duties of any proposed new job classifications in relation to the existing unit descriptions and shall recommend placement of all new job classifications in an appropriate authorized employee representation unit. A newly created job classification shall be assigned to an authorized employee representation unit upon approval by the board.

C. Modification of Existing Bargaining Units. An existing authorized employee representation unit may be modified upon petition of an employee organization. The existing unit proposed to be modified and/or the proposed new unit must be appropriate standing alone.

1. Content and Timing of Petition. An employee organization may propose that an existing authorized employee bargaining unit be modified by filing a petition with the district employee relations officer. Such petition shall be filed during the 30-day period beginning not earlier than 150 days, and ending not later than 120 days, before the expiration date of any memorandum of understanding covering classifications in the authorized employee bargaining unit proposed to be modified. Such petition may also be filed at any time after expiration of such memorandum of understanding. A petition for modification shall include information sufficient to satisfy the requirements of CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1)(a)(i) through (A)(1)(a)(ix) (voluntary recognition) or CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(2)(a)(i) through (A)(2)(a)(ix) (petition), and it shall also contain:

a. A statement of all relevant facts in support of the proposed unit modification.

b. A description of the proposed unit, specifying the classifications to be removed from the existing bargaining unit and placed in a separate authorized employee bargaining unit.

c. Written proof of support from a majority (50 percent plus one) of the employees within the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit.

2. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall determine whether or not there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section. If the district employee relations officer so determines, or the district initiates modification of the unit, the officer shall (a) advise all employees in the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit of such proposed unit modification by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days, and (b) shall serve notice of the filing to all exclusive recognized employee organizations.

3. Contest to the Determination that the Petition Does Not Comply. If the district employee relations officer determines that the petition is not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section, the officer shall so notify the petitioning employee organization. If the petitioning employee organization disputes the finding that the petition was not in compliance, it may file a contest, in writing, with the district employee relations officer within 30 days after service of notice that the petition was not in compliance. If the contest is not granted by the officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing to determine compliance with the process provided for in this section. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the contest. If the hearing officer finds the petition was not in compliance, the petition shall be dismissed. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was in compliance, the petition shall be processed in accordance with this section.

4. No Challenges to Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. If no challenge is filed within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall submit the proposed bargaining unit modifications to the board.

5. Challenges to the Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. Within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, an employee organization may file a challenge, in writing, with the district employee relations officer, either regarding the officer’s determination that the petition was not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section or regarding the officer’s acceptance of the district’s petition to modify. Such a challenge shall state the grounds for the challenge, clearly indicating the reasons why the proposed unit modification is not appropriate. Any challenge filed by an employee organization must also be accompanied by proof of support of 10 percent or more of the employees proposed to be removed from an existing authorized employee bargaining unit; provided, however, that the incumbent exclusive representative shall not be required to provide proof of support in order to file a challenge.

6. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the unit, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district to conduct a hearing. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall (a) grant or deny the challenge, or (b) recommend modification of the authorized employee bargaining unit proposed by the employee organization. If the hearing officer recommends modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new authorized employee bargaining unit, as applicable, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

7. Creation of New Employee Representation Unit. The recommendation of the hearing officer regarding modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new bargaining units are subject to and effective upon approval of the board.

D. Clarification of Existing Authorized Employee Bargaining Units. The unit clarification process is used to determine whether a particular classification is included or excluded (i.e., should be added to or deleted) from an existing authorized employee representation unit based upon the existing unit description and the duties of the classification in question. Unit clarification is only appropriate if the number of positions to be added or removed is substantially smaller than the number of employees in an existing unit so as to not create a question as to the majority status of the incumbent exclusive representative. In the absence of a question of majority representation, a petition for clarification of an existing unit may be filed by an exclusive representative.

1. Content and Timing of Petition. An exclusive recognized employee organization may file a petition at any time with the district employee relations officer to clarify whether a particular classification is placed in the appropriate bargaining unit based on the existing unit description. A petition for clarification must contain:

a. The name and street address of the exclusive representative.

b. The name, title, mailing address and business telephone number of the exclusive representative’s principal representative.

c. A listing of the classifications and the number of employees to be added to and/or removed from an existing authorized bargaining unit.

d. A statement that the petitioning employee organization is an exclusive recognized employee organization.

e. The relevant reasons why the petitioning exclusive representative seeks clarification.

2. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of a petition for clarification, the district employee relations officer shall determine (a) whether or not the proposed clarification is appropriate, and (b) whether there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (D)(1) of this section. If both criteria are met, the officer shall then (a) advise all employees in the classifications proposed to be assigned to a different representation unit by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days, and (b) serve notice of the filing to all exclusive representatives of petitioned-for employees if different from the petitioning exclusive representative.

3. No Contest to Petition or Challenges to the Proposed Unit Clarification. If the district employee relations officer determines that the proposed clarification is appropriate and the petition is in compliance and there has been no challenge filed by any exclusive representative of the petitioned-for employees within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the officer shall submit the proposed unit clarification to the board.

4. Contest to Determination and Challenges to the Proposed Unit Clarification. Within 30 days after service of the notice of filing of the petition, any exclusive representative of the petitioned-for employees may file a challenge in writing with the district employee relations officer. Such a challenge or contest shall clearly indicate the reasons or basis for the challenge.

5. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the determination of the district employee relations officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the challenge and/or contest. If the hearing officer recommends that a classification be added to an existing authorized employee bargaining unit, or be removed from one authorized employee bargaining unit and placed in another, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

E. Hearing Officer. The hearing officer must be a third party neutral who is not employed by either a public entity or an employee organization and must have experience as a hearing officer or arbitrator in disputes regarding the composition and determination of bargaining units. The costs of the hearing officer, if any, shall be paid for by the district. Such costs do not include the costs incurred in the use of any employees, agents, or attorneys. (Ord. 1270.1 § 7, 2017)

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