With decertification possibly looming for one unit of Fresno County’s Service Employees International Union members, the union wants to narrow the number of employees eligible to vote in an upcoming election.
Members of SEIU’s bargaining unit 02 have been trying to decertify union representation for correctional officers in the Fresno County Jail and juvenile justice center, as well as security, child support officers and program technicians, a total of about 840 employees. An election could occur in the spring.
But the union has filed a petition with the Fresno County Civil Service Commission that could narrow decertification voting to Fresno County Jail corrections officers, less than half the bargaining unit. It is the third decertification effort in three years for the bargaining unit’s employees, an effort led by jail corrections officers.
Union officials said that if jail corrections officers want to leave SEIU, they should vote without forcing their decision on employees in other county departments.
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If SEIU’s proposal is supported, other employees in the bargaining unit — consisting of other job types — will vote, too, but separate from the jail corrections officers, union officials said. It’s expected to be discussed during next month’s civil service commission meeting.
Eulalio Gomez, a jail corrections officer, said union officials initiated the process and that the largest contingent of workers supporting decertification are jail workers. But, he still wants all employees in the bargaining unit to vote.
“I have nothing against these folks, but the entire bargaining unit should be entitled to an election,” said Gomez.
SEIU’s six bargaining units represent about 4,500 of the county’s 7,000 employees.