State worker bargaining rights advance

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In September, state workers filed for recognition as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) with the Government Employee-Management Relations Board of the State of Nevada. (Photo: AFSCME Local 4041)
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In September, state workers filed for recognition as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) with the Government Employee-Management Relations Board of the State of Nevada. (Photo: AFSCME Local 4041)

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.  

Dana Gentry
Senior Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.