H. B. 2842

(By Delegates McGraw and Sparks)
[Introduced February 19, 1999; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

A BILL to amend chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated article six-b, relating to establishing a pilot project allowing collective bargaining within district one of the division of highways.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated article six-b, to read as follows:

§29-6B-1. Legislative purpose.
(a) The Legislature of the state of West Virginia declares that it is the public policy of this state to promote orderly and constructive employment relations between public employers and their employees; to increase the efficiency of state and local government; and to ensure the health and safety of the citizens of this state.
(b) The Legislature has determined that these policies and purposes may best be accomplished by:
(1) Establishing a pilot project in district one of the division of highways to allow certain employees of that district the right to choose a representative for the purpose of collective bargaining;
(2) Requiring district one management to recognize and bargain in good faith with the elected representative chosen by those employees and to enter into a written agreement within four months of the election of representative; and
(3) Permitting the pilot program to continue for two years from the execution of the collective bargaining agreement and thereafter unless management can demonstrate that the program fails to achieve the legislative purpose described above.
§29-6B-2. Unit determination.
(a) The appropriate bargaining unit for this pilot project consists of all production and maintenance employees of the division of highways, district one, including transportation workers, engineering technicians, inspectors, party chiefs, clerks, craftworkers, traffic crews, crew leaders, expressway supervisor, gas attendants, parts expediters, design engineers, permit supervisors, building and grounds supervisors, radio operators, investigators, staff engineers, accountants, storekeepers, data coordinators, audit clerks, bridge repair crew supervisors, district right-of-way agents, right-of-way agents, district shop supervisors, custodians and any other nonsupervisory clerical, production and maintenance workers.
(b) The bargaining unit does not include any clerical employees who handle employee relations work for a policy-making supervisor in employee relations or the district engineer, county maintenance supervisor, assistant district engineers, district right-of-way agent, district equipment supervisor, district comptroller, district administrative assistant, office supervisor, materials supervisor, area engineer/supervisor, major project engineer/supervisor, utilities supervisor, reconstruction and resurfacing coordinator, county maintenance superintendent, assistant county maintenance supervisor, design engineer, district attorney, evaluation engineer/supervisor or repair and design engineer/supervisor.
(c) All questions regarding inclusion or exclusion in the bargaining unit shall be resolved by the employer and the petitioning party prior to the election.
§29-6B-3. Representation election procedures.
(a) The election shall be administered by the division of personnel and shall be held no later than six months after the effective date of this article. Any labor organization wishing to appear on the ballot shall file a petition with the division of personnel containing the signatures of no less than twenty-five percent of the employees in the bargaining unit. An election shall be conducted on the employers' premises during employees' work hours or overlapping shifts so as to make it convenient for all eligible employees to participate.
(b) The employer shall provide all eligible organizations with the names and addresses of all eligible voters no less than two weeks prior to the election.
(c) The election shall be by secret ballot and employees shall be afforded an opportunity to vote "No union" in addition to including selections of representatives qualifying for placement on the ballot.
(d) The election shall be overseen by a committee appointed by the West Virginia state supreme court of appeals.
(e) An organization shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining representative when it receives fifty percent plus one vote of those voting in the election. If no party receives fifty percent plus one of the votes cast, a run-off election shall be scheduled within two weeks providing a selection between the two choices receiving the most votes in the first election.
(f) Ballots may be voided if the intent of the voter is not clear. A representative of the division of personnel shall count the votes and rule immediately on whether to void any votes. Any ballot containing a signature or name shall be voided. Each organization may have an observer present for the voting and counting of the ballots.
§29-6B-4. Negotiations.
(a) Upon notification by the bargaining representative the parties shall meet in good faith and reach an agreement no later than four months after the election.
(b) The employer shall make available all relevant documents such as budgets, payroll records and policies, upon request.
(c) The employer may not impede negotiations in any manner and shall cooperate fully with the sole intent of reaching agreement.
(d) All matters relating to wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment are negotiable.
(e) Any disputes which arise during negotiations shall be submitted to an arbitrator selected from a list of five names furnished by the American arbitration association. Each party shall strike two names and the remaining name shall arbitrate the items in dispute.
§29-6B-5. No strikes.
There may be no strikes during the term of this pilot project. If an organization is responsible for a strike, the pilot project is immediately voided and the organization is subject to an action against it in the circuit court of Kanawha County.
§29-6B-6. No discrimination.
There may be no discrimination against any employee for his or her union activity and the employer and its managerial representatives may not engage in threats, coercion or promises of benefit in an attempt to affect the outcome of the election.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a pilot project allowing collective bargaining within District One of the Division of Highways.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.