[Filed October 24, 1997, 11:05 a.m.]
Reviser's note: The following Progress Report has been
electronically generated directly from the agency and has not been
through the usual editing and proofing processes.
October 14, 1997
EO 97-02 PROGRESS REPORT
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) has begun a four-year
effort to review all of its rules. PERC is committed to improving the
effectiveness and fairness of its regulatory process. Over its 21+ years
in existence, PERC has adopted several chapters of rules that are
primarily "procedural" in nature. The following seven chapters in the
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) are currently in effect:
Chapter 391-08 WAC RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 391-25 WAC REPRESENTATION CASE RULES
Chapter 391-35 WAC UNIT CLARIFICATION CASE RULES
Chapter 391-45 WAC UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE CASE RULES
Chapter 391-55 WAC IMPASSE RESOLUTION RULES
Chapter 391-65 WAC GRIEVANCE ARBITRATION RULES
Chapter 391-95 WAC UNION SECURITY DISPUTE RULES
Adjudicative proceedings conducted by PERC under the Administrative
Procedure Act (APA) are also subject to the Model Rules of Procedure,
Chapter 10-08 WAC, adopted by the chief administrative law judge of the
State of Washington. The Commission's goal is to ensure that all of its
rules meet the EO 97-02 standards of need, reasonableness, effectiveness,
clarity, fairness, stakeholder involvement, coordination among regulatory
agencies, and consistency with legislative intent and statutory
On July 16, 1997, the Commission designated staff member Mark S. Downing
as the agency's contact person for regulatory review.
RULES REVIEW PLAN
After a tentative rules review plan was drafted by Commission staff, a
letter was sent on August 6, 1997 to the agency's "major stakeholders"
seeking their input and comments regarding the plan. Out of
approximately 100 union and employer representatives who received that
letter, comments were received from only seven individuals.
On August 26, 1997, PERC filed its rules review plan with the Office of
the Governor. PERC's rules review plan contains the following elements:
a. Time Schedule
PERC's rules will be reviewed in sub-groups over a four-year cycle,
Chapter 391-08 WAC in 1998
Chapters 391-55 and 391-65 WAC in 1999
Chapters 391-45 and 391-95 WAC in 2000
Chapters 391-25 and 391-35 WAC in 2001
b. Review Methodology
In the autumn of each year, the PERC staff will review the WAC
chapter(s) under scrutiny that year for conformance with the review
criteria of EO 97-02, and will transmit a report of problem areas
and recommendations to the Commission. The Commission will submit
its findings and suggested rule changes to the agency's major
stakeholders by February, and invite comment. Any rules changes
being recommended for adoption will be explained at conferences and
similar forums (e.g., at the annual IRRA/FMCS/PERC conference held
in Seattle each March, and other conferences, as appropriate).
The Commission's staff has begun its review of Chapter 391-08 WAC.
A workshop on rules is being scheduled for March 12, 1998, as part
of the annual conference co-sponsored by the agency. Any suggested
changes in Chapter 391-08 WAC will be reviewed at that time.
c. Public Participation in Review Process
Agency clientele are encouraged to participate in the various stages
of the review process established under b., above. Additional
proposals and comments from clientele are welcome.
d. Resources Required to Amend Rules
Proposed rule changes will be the subject of public rule adoption
hearings, as required by the APA. PERC will undertake its rule
review plan and meet APA requirements within the constraints of its
e. Exceptions to Review Requirements
PERC is unaware of any instances where it will require an exception
to the regulatory review requirements.
f. On-going Review Process
After completion of the initial four-year rules review process, the
foregoing rule review schedule could be repeated in similar four-year cycles (subject to input from major stakeholders about the
effectiveness of such a process).
While PERC's first rules review process (relating to Chapter 391-08 WAC) will not be completed until August 1, 1998, the Commission recently completed an extensive effort to make its processes more user-friendly:
In 1995 and 1996, PERC reviewed all of its rules and made extensive
revisions. (PERC's only previous comprehensive rules review was in
Rule changes were adopted in February of 1996 (effective in April of 1996) to correct typographical errors, use gender-neutral language, conform rules to statutes, clarify and update agency procedures, and codify case precedents. In total, 50 sections of agency rules were amended, three new sections were added, and two sections were repealed. The following are examples of some of the changes made in 1996 to clarify, streamline or reform agency procedures:
1) Long-standing case precedents were codified in areas such as directions of cross-checks, objectionable election conduct, procedures for classified employees of institutions of higher education to become covered under PERC jurisdiction, bargaining unit structures for school district extra-curricular activities positions, and bargaining unit structures for employees eligible for interest arbitration.
2) Streamlined agency procedures for processing representation petitions, and designated elections coordinator as responsible for preliminary processing of representation cases.
3) Reduced, in most situations, the number of copies of forms that clientele need to file with agency.
4) Clarified procedures for filing of documents with agency and for service of papers on other parties. (A prohibition on filing by "fax" in adjudicative proceedings under the APA was continued in effect only so long as actual receipt is required by the APA and Chapter 10-08 WAC.)
5) Added new sections explaining agency procedures for docketing and numbering cases, numbering and indexing of decisions, and citation of cases.
In 1996, PERC developed and implemented a WEB site (http://www.olywa.net/perc) which contains copies of all of the statutes and rules
administered by PERC, as well as information regarding case processing,
directions to agency offices, telephone numbers for all PERC staff
members, and the "fax" numbers for both PERC offices. Clientele can now
send "e-mail" to PERC, to communicate their thoughts on our procedures.
In 1996, PERC published a booklet containing all of the statutes and
rules administered by PERC. The booklet includes directions and maps to
both PERC offices (located in Olympia and Kirkland), the names and
telephone numbers of all PERC staff members, and brief summaries of the
procedures for case processing.
PERC has not received any petitions filed under RCW 34.05.330 by persons
requesting the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule.
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