Links to digests, lists and full-text searchable archives of WERC decisions regarding various types of statutory labor relations disputes are available elsewhere on this site.
Complaint Case Adjudication Each of the three statutes defines practices that are unlawful. MERA refers to such practices as prohibited practices; SELRA and WEPA refer to them as unfair labor practices. Each statute authorizes WERC to adjudicate complaints filed by a party such as an employe, an employer or labor organization asserting that another party has committed one or more of the unlawful practices. WERC is also authorized to order a remedy for violations found to have been committed. Remedies can include cease-and-desist, reinstatement, back pay, interest, and/or the restoration of previously existing conditions, but attorneys fees are ordinarily not available.
WERC ordinarily delegates the responsibility for conducting the administrative hearing to a member of its mediator/attorney staff. The designated hearing examiner issues a written decision that is subject to review by the Commission and appeal to the Courts. Complaint cases are initiated by the filing of a complaint by the aggrieved party. View Form and Instruction Sheet. View Complaint Process Booklet. View Hearing Examiner Manual. Complaints ordinarily must be filed within one year of the complained of conduct.
Representation and Union Security Case Adjudication Each of the three statutes also authorizes WERC to conduct secret-ballot representation and union security elections and to conduct hearings to resolve disputes about bargaining unit composition, employe status and eligibility to vote, and other issues. WERC is also responsible for resolving unit clarification disputes that arise concerning whether particular positions are properly to be included in or excluded from an existing bargaining unit.
WERC ordinarily delegates the responsibility for conducting such hearings to a member of its staff, but WERC ordinarily issues the initial decision in the matter itself, based on recommendations prepared by the staff hearing examiner assigned to the case.
Representation election and unit clarification cases are initiated by the filing of a petition. Petitions for elections among represented employees must be filed within certain limited time periods and, in some cases, additional requirements must be met for an election to be conducted. View Forms. View MERA Representation Case Guide. View Hearing Examiner Manual.
If the WERC's decision directs that a secret ballot vote be taken, Commission personnel arrange and conduct the vote either at or near the employer's premises involved or by mail or telephonic ballot. View Election Conduct Manual. For municipal and state employees other than transit and public safety, initial and mandatory annual recertification elections require a standard of 51% of eligibles voting in favor of representation.* For all other elections, a majority of those voting is required to support representation or continued representation.
Declaratory Ruling Case Adjudication As an administrative agency within the meaning of Chapter 227 of the Statutes, the WERC is authorized by that Chapter to adjudicate and decide disputes concerning the meaning and application of each of the three statutes it administers.
When petitions for declaratory rulings are filed under that general Chapter 227 procedure, the law gives the agency discretion whether or not to hear and decide the question(s) presented. However, MERA Sec. 111.70(4)(b), Stats., requires the WERC to hear and decide questions raised in petitions for declaratory rulings concerning the scope of collective bargaining, that is, whether particular bargaining proposals are mandatory or non-mandatory subjects of bargaining.*
The WERC ordinarily delegates the responsibility for conducting declaratory ruling hearings to the WERC General Counsel, but the WERC ordinarily issues the initial declaratory ruling itself, after considering a draft decision prepared by the General Counsel. Declaratory ruling cases are initiated by the filing of a petition by an interested party. The form for a Sec. 111.70(4)(b), Stats., petition is described in detail in Commission Rule ERC 18.02, WIS. ADM. CODE. View Rules.