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S.F. No. 3983 - Self-Directed Workforce Collective Bargaining Agreement Provisions Modification - The First Engrossment
Author: Senator Michelle R. Benson
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: April 19, 2018


Section 1 [Forecasted Programs; Medical Assistance] amends a rider in the 2017 Health and Human Services Omnibus Budget Bill to add provisions relating to a decertification election for personal care assistants (PCAs).


 In 2014, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was elected to be the exclusive representative of individual providers who provide direct support services. In December 2016, a petition was made to Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) to conduct a decertification election. BMS denied the petition for a decertification election on the grounds that the number of submitted cards was insufficient.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the BMS decision. The Minnesota Supreme Court denied review of the BMS decision on April 17, 2017.

Minnesota Statutes, section 179A.12, subdivision 3, requires authorization for a decertification election from at least 30 percent of the relevant employee population. The number of authorization cards submitted by the petitioner and the total number in the bargaining unit were in dispute in this case.  According to the petitioner, 6,515 authorization cards were submitted and the unit was 20,122 members.  The Court of Appeals based its decision on 4,527 authorization cards and concluded that the petitioner had not demonstrated that the unit was 15,100 or fewer.

In October 2017, advocates again petitioned BMS for a decertification election. BMS determined that this petition was a second distinct petition and not a supplemental submission to the first petition.  BMS denied the second petition for a decertification election because the petition was made outside the limited time window allowed for a petition for decertification.  Minnesota Statutes, section 179A.12, subdivision 4, specifies that BMS must not consider a petition for a decertification election during the term of a contract covering state employees “except for a period from not more than 270 to not less than 210 days before its date of termination.” For the first SEIU contract, BMS concluded that this window was October 3, 2016, to December 2, 2016. The second SEIU contract runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019, so the next window for a decertification petition under current law would be October 3, 2018, to December 2, 2018.

SF 3983

SF 3983 requires the Bureau of Mediation Services to conduct a decertification election by November 30, 2018, for self-directed workers if, at any time prior to July 1, 2019, BMS is provided decertification election authorization cards or petitions containing the names and addresses of 6,000 self-directed workers.  For a card or petition to be eligible to be counted, it must be signed by an individual provider whose name appeared on any list provided to the persons seeking decertification by the Department of Human Services or the Bureau of Mediation Services between May 1, 2016, and July 1, 2019, and who signed a decertification election authorization card or petition between May 1, 2016, and July 1, 2019.



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