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December 11, 2014 / jimnv

Collective Bargaining for State Employees? Is This Possible?

Yesterday the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that temporary workers in Amazon warehouses were not entitled to pay while going through mandated security checks. The company, Integrity Staffing Solutions was not paying workers for standing in line though compulsory security audits. Integrity Staffing Solutions provides employees for Amazon, and their employees may not unionize.

Justice Clarence Thomas stated this:

“Finally, respondents’ claim that the screenings are compensable be-cause Integrity Staffing could have reduced the time to a de minimis amount is properly presented at the bargaining table, not to a court in an FLSA claim. ”

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-433_5h26.pdf

It appears Thomas is saying, the only way for non-unionized workers to address their grievances is to become unionized.

Could Thomas’ statement affect all state employees who like the Amazon warehouse workers do not have collective bargaining rights? Only local public employees (county, city) have collective bargaining rights in Nevada. Can Nevada laws precluding collective bargaining for state workers be challenged, even overturned? Perhaps. If I were a union attorney, I would be looking into this.

State employees cannot expect help from the governor or the legislature.

 

 

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3 Comments

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  1. Michael Jackson / Dec 16 2014 8:47 pm

    The Union? That organization that does NOTHING for state workers?? LOL!

    AFSCME 4041
    Hard(ly) at work for State Workers Rights

  2. Lawrence Cassidy / Dec 11 2014 1:01 pm

    Jim,

    The reality is that State of Nevada public employees and retirees should not expect to be treated fairly by the State of Nevada, because they never were, at least while I was employed by the state. Even worse, now that both houses of the Nevada Legislature and the governorship are held by Republicans, State of Nevada public employees and retirees can expect to be the target of so-called “fiscal responsibility.” Now that state retirees are no longer in service to the state, they are even less appreciated than when they were active employees. So, I expect aggressive assaults on Nevada PERS and PEBP by hard right Republicans pandering to large corporations and such organizations as the Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Chambers of Commerce. Of course, labor unions do not do themselves any favors by allying themselves with one or the other major political parties, such as Democrat or Republican, especially in terms of promoting one over the other on issues not directly related to employment conditions, work environment and occupational safety, compensation and retirement benefits. As you know, I am pro labor union. I believe that unionized employees stand a far better chance of securing fair and equitable compensation, health care and retirement benefits, and a safe and wholesome work environment. However, when those people running the labor unions become the mouthpieces of political candidates and political partisan agendas, I have no use for them. For instance, as you know, I am a member of Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN). However, I was also a member of AFSCME Local 4041 up until about four months ago. Though I am not a fanatic evangelical Christian, I do consider myself a Christian. However, when the AFSCME Local 4041 newsletter printed insulting anti-Christian remarks under the guise of so-called humor in some of its newsletters, I was forced to rescind my membership. Whether I am a Christian or not should be irrelevant to AFSCME Local 4041, since it is not an employment or retiree issue. However, obviously to someone at AFSCME Local 4041, being a Christian is a bad thing and being an atheist is a good thing. Be a person a Christian or not does not matter to me, nor should it to a labor union that I expect to pursue important issues concerning employment and retirement benefits for employees or retirees. For instance, I care not whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or what your religious belief are one way or the other. All I know is that you are my friend and that you and I pretty much want the same things, most especially to be treated fairly and honestly by those who make decisions which affect our lives. I believe that if you and I were placed in charge of things, whether at the state or federal level, we could get some things accomplished for everyone, regardless of their political party affiliation, because we care about making things better, not just for ourselves, but for everyone.

    Kindest Regards,

    Larry

    • jimnv / Dec 12 2014 1:36 pm

      Thanks for the kind words and analysis.Nevada state employees are at the mercy of politics and the efforts of big money. They really do see employees as the enemy and they have the money tomake things happen the way they want.

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