“In the election, 62 percent of the eligible employees voted to be represented by the local staff association. The library board challenged the results of that election and they lost that challenge. They are now appealing that decision. We feel that their appeal is a stalling tactic and a poor use of time and money.”
Washington-Centerville Public Library officials have announced that the Library Board of Trustees will file an appeal of the March 4th union election with the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
The appeal states the Ohio State Employee Relations Board (SERB) proceeded with a union election even though library employees had not yet formed a staff association on which to vote.
“SERB should not have proceeded with the election. You cannot ask people to vote for, or against, something that does not yet exist,” said Fred Ungerman, legal counsel for the Library.
SERB recently overruled the Library Board of Trustees’ objection to the election, and subsequently certified the vote to form a library staff association.
“The Board of Trustees carefully deliberated this decision and feel they will get a more unbiased hearing of the objection to the union vote in the court system,” continued Ungerman.
If the Franklin County Common Pleas Court upholds SERB’s decision, a collective bargaining unit will represent 57 of the 150 employees working at the library, including reference librarians, children’s librarians, customer service representatives, technicians, and some administrative staff. In March, library staff voted 33 to 20 in favor of unionization.
“The Library is committed to respecting the rights of employees and we feel an appeal is part of that process. It’s our opinion that the staff deserved more information about the union’s structure and leadership before they voted on unionization,” stated Richard Carr, Library Board of Trustees President.
Cathy Simonson is acting president of the staff association. She said they are moving forward with electing permanent officers and voting on the approval of the constitution and the by-laws.
She said the union is very disappointed with the board’s actions.
“We are very disappointed. Mr. Carr stated that “the library is committed to respecting the rights of the employees” and that is clearly not the case,” Simonson stated. “In the election, 62 percent of the eligible employees voted to be represented by the local staff association. The library board challenged the results of that election and they lost that challenge. They are now appealing that decision. We feel that their appeal is a stalling tactic and a poor use of time and money.”