Forming a union

Step 1: Initial Contacts

Organizers and employees meet to assess the level of interest among coworkers and determine who might want to take a leadership role in the organizing drive.

Step 2: Building An Organizing Committee

Employees who strongly support OEA representation begin meeting to form an Organizing Committee, a core group of employees who will lead the campaign and be responsible for decision-making and communication leading up to recognition of the union. The committee should be at least 10% of the total workforce and be representative of the overall group.

Step 3: Building Support

When ready, the committee will reach out to coworkers through one-on-one conversations to assess interest. If it is determined that enough support exists, the committee will begin collecting authorization and membership cards. This is how the committee proves that there is enough “interest” to hold an election. Though state law requires only that 30% of the total unit signs cards, we will need at least 65% on cards to file for and win an election.

Step 4: Filing For An Election

Once the committee has collected cards from at least 65% of the unit, they will be submitted to the appropriate agency, either the State Employment Relations Board (SERB), or the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The agency will work with the union and management to determine and define the appropriate bargaining unit. They will also verify that there are enough signatures to hold an election.

Step 5: The Election

Once SERB or the NLRB has scheduled an election, employees will receive a ballot in the mail. The ballot will have 2 choices: The Association or No Representative. When the votes are received and counted, a simple majority will win.

Step 6: Bargaining

After OEA wins the election, employees will elect a bargaining team of coworkers to negotiate a first union contract. Along with an experienced negotiator from OEA, the bargaining team is responsible for bringing your priorities to the bargaining table. Once an agreement with management has been reached, all employees will vote on ratification of the contract.