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Excerpts from WERC Biennial Report

1997-99


The full text of the Commissions 1997-99 and previous Biennial Reports are available from the Commission's Madison office.


The Agency:

Organization: The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission consists of three commissioners appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Senate, for six-year terms, with one commissioner designated by the Governor to serve as chairperson for a two-year term. At the commencement of the biennium the commissioners were: James R. Meier (Chairperson), A. Henry Hempe and Paul A. Hahn. . . .

 

The purpose and goal of the Commission is to promote peaceful labor relations and collective bargaining in private, municipal and state employment through the process established by the Wisconsin Employment Peace Act, the Municipal Employment Relations Act, and the State Employment Labor Relations Act, (Subchapters I, IV and V of Chapter 111, Wisconsin Statutes) and avoid the costly consequences of strikes and lock-outs and other interruptions of services and production. In the administration of such statutes, the Commission conducts elections to determine bargaining units and bargaining representatives, referenda with respect to all-union, maintenance of membership and fair-share agreements, and issues decisions in the adjudication of unfair labor practice, election, unit clarification and declaratory ruling cases. It also mediates collective bargaining disputes and provides arbitration services for grievances arising in the interpretation and application of existing collective bargaining agreements.

During this biennium, the agency adopted a strategic business plan. Included among its stated goals and objectives, the plan called for the development and implementation of a customer satisfaction survey. During the period January-June 1999 a survey of customers was conducted to learn what is important to our customers and how they believed the commission and its staff have performed. The results of the 374 completed surveys were tabulated and made available in hard copy and on the agency website, http://werc.wi.gov, and essentially confirmed the commission belief that timeliness of service is the primary measure of agency quality.

Another stated goal and objective of the strategic business plan was to fully utilize available technologies to better serve our customers. To that end, during this biennium the agency launched its website, published a 3-disk CD-ROM set of municipal interest arbitration awards issued prior to 1999, and entered into an agreement with the State Bar of Wisconsin wherein they publish our current decisions on its website. Interest awards for 1999 and later are available on the agency website. The agency also produced a CD-ROM set of commission decisions and grievance arbitration awards from July 1989 through December 1998. Subsequent decisions are available on the website and annual CD-ROM updates will be produced.

Also, as part of its strategic plan, goals and objectives, the commission enunciated its continuing commitment to improving the quality and timeliness of its services. During the biennium the commission and its staff continued to improve the timeliness of decisions.

Biennial Caseload Summary

During the 1997-1999 biennium, there were 2326 new cases filed with the Commission, and 2455 cases were closed. Included within the closed cases were 7 wherein the Commission issued declaratory rulings and 115 where representation votes were conducted. Also, during the biennium, Commission staff issued 421 grievance arbitration awards and 85 unfair labor practice/prohibited practice decisions. As part of the 2455 closed cases, there were 568 closed INT/ARB (municipal--excluding police and fire) cases, and of those 476 or 84% resulted in voluntary settlements following Commission investigation (intensive mediation). There were also 138 MIA (police and fire) cases closed of which 106 or 77% were resolved voluntarily during the Commission investigation.

Court Activity During Biennium

During the biennium, decisions from the Wisconsin courts yielded a final disposition of fifteen (15) Commission cases. At the circuit court level, eight (8) decisions affirmed the Commission's decision and one decision was reversed. In the Court of Appeals, five (5) Commission decisions were affirmed and one decision was reversed.

 

TOTAL CASES PROCESSED BY THE COMMISSION July 1997 - June 1999

 

            Private Employment Cases

 

Cases Pending 7/1/97

Cases Received 1997-98

Cases Closed 1997-98

Cases Pending 7/1/98

Cases Received 1998-99

Cases Closed 1998-99

Cases Pending 6/30/99

Complaint-CE

11

8

6

13

6

9

10

Complaint-Cw (Individual)

4

1

1

4

3

4

3

Election-E

0

1

1

0

4

4

0

Election-E(u/c)

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

Referendum-R

1

2

3

0

0

0

0

Arbitration-A

64

100

94

70

84

88

66

Mediation-M

5

13

15

3

10

8

5

Declaratory Ruling-DR

3

0

1

2

0

0

2

TOTALS

88

126

121

93

107

114

86

 

 

Municipal Employment Cases

 

Cases Pending 7/1/97

Cases Received 1997-98

Cases Closed 1997-98

Cases Pending 7/1/98

Cases Received 1998-99

Cases Closed 1998-99

Cases Pending 6/30/99

Election-ME

26

69

67

28

72

65

35

Election-ME(u/c)

65

55

60

61

47

55

52

Referendum-MR

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Declaratory Ruling-DR(M)

26

10

2

34

7

10

31

Complaint-MP

205

116

126

194

95

127

162

Arbitration-MA

358

361

413

307

345

373

276

Interest Arbitration-MIA

59

68

76

52

61

62

50

Interest Arbitration-INT/ARB

209

343

312

241

208

256

192

Mediation-MM

40

105

90

55

50

67

37

Fact Finding-FF

1

4

3

2

3

2

3

LMC-M

0

12

12

2

23

3

20

TOTALS

989

1143

1161

971

912

1020

863

 

 

State Employment Cases

 

Cases Pending 7/1/97

Cases Received 1997-98

Cases Closed 1997-98

Cases Pending 7/1/98

Cases Received 1998-99

Cases Closed 1998-99

Cases Pending 6/30/99

Election-SE

0

1

1

0

2

0

2

Election-SE(u/c)

5

1

3

3

0

0

3

Referendum-SR

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

Complaint-PP(S)

41

16

18

39

12

12

39

Arbitration-SA

2

0

1

1

2

1

2

Mediation-SM

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

Fact Finding-FF(S)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Declaratory Ruling-DR(S)

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

LMC-S

0

0

0

0

3

0

3

TOTALS

48

20

25

43

21

14

50

 

 

All Cases Combined

 

Cases Pending 7/1/97

Cases Received 1997-98

Cases Closed 1997-98

Cases Pending 7/1/98

Cases Received 1998-99

Cases Closed 1998-99

Cases Pending 6/30/99

GRAND TOTALS

1125

1289

1307

1107

1040

1148

9999

 

 

 


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This page is a public domain communication of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The URL of this page is {http://werc.wi.gov/biennial_report_data_1997-99.htm}. Last modified on 08 JAN 2001. Comments, questions and suggestions