Decertification is the process
by which public employees disestablish an existing union for a particular
bargaining unit. According to Michigan law and practice, when 30 percent or more
of employees in the unit assert that the certified or currently recognized
bargaining representative is no longer their representative, a decertification
petition may be filed with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.
Thereafter, MERC will determine the propriety of the petition and schedule an
election. If more than 50 percent of employees vote for decertification, the
union relationship is dissolved.
MERC’s administrative rules set forth a specific time for
the filing of decertification petitions. NOTE: for public school contracts that
expire between June 1 and Sept. 30, the time period to file a decertification
petition is Jan. 2 to March 31 of the year in which the contract is scheduled to
expire. See MERC Administrative Rules, R 423.141(3)(a). If the contract expires
in a different period, a petition shall not be filed sooner than 150 days and
not later than 90 days before the expiration date of the contract. See MERC
Administrative Rules, R 423.141(3)(b). In either case, if the window is missed,
the petition cannot be filed until after the contract has expired.
A decertification election is
not allowed under Michigan law where there is an existing, valid contract of a
fixed duration — unless more than three years have elapsed since the contract
was last executed or renewed. An election is also prohibited if there has been
an election in the preceding 12-month period. See MCL § 423.214.
For MERC petition form:
For relevant MERC administrative rules:
http://www.state.mi.us/orr/emi/admincode.asp?AdminCode=Single &Admin_Num=42300101 &Dpt=LG&RngHigh
*This article is intended as general information on an
issue of public policy, not as legal advice. Readers should not act on this
information without benefit of professional legal counsel or checking with the
Michigan Employment Relations Commission. Laws change, and rulings interpreting
the law are issued frequently.