Deputy Sheriffs Change Union, Lose ULP

Deputy sheriffs working for Mason County, Washington were represented for many years by the Woodworkers Local Lodge, W-38 of the International Association of Machinists. When the County changed its policies with respect to the cash out of compensatory time off, the deputies’ union filed an unfair labor practice complaint.

While the unfair labor practice complaint was pending, the deputies voted to change their bargaining representative to the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Employees Guild. The County immediately filed to dismiss the unfair labor practice complaint.

Washington’s Public Employment Relations Commission dismissed the complaint. The Commission held that “a refusal to bargain can only be enforced by an exclusive bargaining representative. As the Union is no longer the exclusive bargaining representative for deputy sheriff employees, this case is dismissed for lack of standing.”

Mason County, Decision 9572 (Wash. PERC 2007).

This article appears in the September 2007 issue