On October 24, 2007, professional staff at Yakima Valley Community College became the first group of professional employees to vote to unionize under a new state collective bargaining law the state Legislature passed last session. These employees include advisors, professionals, and coordinators who work in technology, human resources, purchasing, student services, and other departments.
Secret ballots were turned into the State Public Employment Relations Commission beginning Oct. 2nd and ending yesterday, Oct. 23rd. Twenty-seven ballots out of 31 were received and they voted unanimously to unionize with AFT Washington.
SHB 2361 (Conway, D-Tacoma) allows higher education employees who were previously exempt from collective bargaining under RCW 41.56 to form a union. The new law went into effect July 23rd. College presidents, vice-presidents, deans, and confidential administrative assistants are not eligible to unionize.
For more information about organizing professional employees at community and technical colleges, contact Tom McCarthy, AFT Organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-250-9290.