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State Labor Relations Board schedules mail-in union vote for assistant attorneys general

The State Labor Relations Board scheduled a mail-in vote for October to determine whether assistant attorney’s general will form a union.

The SLRB also determined that class 4 assistant attorneys general are excluded from unionization because they act as department heads and are therefore classified as management.

The DOL confirmed that associate assistant attorneys general, an attorney who specializes in labor relations and a “special counsel” who specializes in legislative affairs will also be excluded. In total, 17 AAGs will not be eligible to join the union if the vote is successful.

The AFT claims that a “strong majority” of AAGs have signed union cards.

AFL-CIO president Lori Pelletier had called on Attorney General George Jepsen to approve the union without a vote but several AAGs fired back with a petition demanding a ballot so that each AAG could exercise the right to oppose unionization. The petition also asserted that all assistant attorneys general constituted “management” and were therefore unable to form a union under state law.

The SLRB met with the American Federation of Teachers on Sept. 13 to count the number of signed union cards and determine whether or not the unionization could move forward.

Ballots will be mailed to the 179 attorneys eligible to join the union on October 4 and the ballots will have to be returned by October 18.

Jepson, who was endorsed by several labor unions during his 2010 campaign, has remained neutral toward the unionization efforts.

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Marc E. Fitch

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