Collective bargaining for state health workers and peace officers took a step closer to becoming a reality Tuesday when the Government Employee-Management Relations Board voted to certify the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as the exclusive bargaining representative for some state workers.
“Thousands of Nevada state employees are ready to make changes in our workplaces through collective bargaining, and thousands more will join soon as additional units ready to file for exclusive representation as AFSCME,” said Harry Schiffman, an electrician at UNLV and president of Local 4041.
The action covers three units that filed petitions last year for representation — professional healthcare, non-professional healthcare and category III peace officers, who generally serve in the state’s prisons.
Employees in these units will select a negotiating team to hammer out contracts in the coming months. AFSCME has organized state employees for half a century, according to its leaders, but only won bargaining rights in the 2019 legislative session.
The legislation, which makes collective bargaining possible for some 20,000 state workers, allows the governor to vacate raises in some cases should the state’s finances warrant.