Colorado Capitol Report

NLRB Issues “Ambush Election” Rule, Disregarding Business and Employee Objections

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NLRB Issues “Ambush Election” Rule, Disregarding Business and Employee Objections

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today ruled to implement the controversial so-called ambush elections, calling it a “modernization” for “fair representation.”  However, while the NRLB was created to be a non-partial entity to mediate employment matters and enforce the National Labor Relations Act, the NLRB has blatantly disregarded its mission by pushing this rule–despite a critical mass of concerns and objections from businesses and employees alike.

Union elections currently take an average of 35 to 38 days, but unions can target workers for a year or more prior to filing to unionize.  On the other hand, businesses only have a matter of days to educate their workers about the pros-and-cons of unionizing, as well as informing employees about their rights and protections.  It is unacceptable then, that a ruling by the NLRB would ambush businesses by reducing union election times–and the time for businesses to talk with employees–to as little as 10 days.  CACI believes this ruling, which takes effect on April 15, 2015, not only treads on workers’ privacy, it prevents employers from effectively and responsibly educating workers about the business perspective.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NLRB ruling:

  • Requires additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses of employees) be included in voter lists the employer is required to give to the NLRB, which in turn is then given to the organizing union.
  • Eliminates an employer’s right to challenge voter eligibility and other issues prior to the election being held.
  • Requires employers to identify all objections regarding the election in its “Statement of Position,” filed prior to the election and does not allow any new objections to be raised after the election is held.
  • Eliminates the NLRB’s requirement to review every aspect of any post-election dispute. The Board will now only review disputes when one party has raised an objection prior to the election.
  • Forces parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single appeals process.

For more information on this issue and other Federal policy topics, as well as the activities of CACI’s Federal Relations Council, contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal and State Governmental Relations Representative, at 303.866.9641.

CACI Submits Feedback to Health & Environment Department Regarding Proposed Changes to Clean Water Permitting Program

After legislation regarding changes to Colorado’s clean water program, overseen by the Water Quality and Control Division within the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), was withdrawn earlier in 2014, the Department established the Clean Water Fee Structure Stakeholder Process.  This process focused on potential strategies for improving its clean water program.  For more information on this process and related documents, visit its CDPHE website, here.

CACI has participated in this stakeholder process throughout the summer and fall months of 2014, intent on ensuring that any changes to the clean water program seek both to ensure adequate environmental protections and to strengthen Colorado’s business climate.  With the 2015 legislative session on the horizon, CDPHE has clearly identified amending the clean water permit fee structure as a legislative agenda item.  CDPHE recently solicited feedback from stakeholders regarding three different proposals for overhauling the current structure and rates of its clean water program.  While CACI is intent on continuing discussions with the Department regarding potential strategies for improving the clean water program’s permit fee structure, CACI has strong concerns with the current proposals.  To read the letter CACI submitted to the CDPHE on this issue, please click here.  The Department is holding a meeting to debrief the stakeholder feedback it received from the Commerce and Industry subgroup of the stakeholder process this Tuesday, December 16, from 3-5pm at CDPHE.  For information on this meeting, please click here.

For more information about this issue, contact Dan O’Connell, CACI Governmental Relations Representative, at 303.866.9622.

House Speaker-Designate Hullinghorst Announces Committee Chairs

Today, House Speaker-designate Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder) announced her appointments for the 11 “committees of reference” plus the five joint House-Senate standing committees.  The 70th General Assembly will convene on Wednesday, January 7th.

Speaker-designate Hullinghorst named Representative Dan Pabon (D-Denver) to be Speaker Pro Tempore.  Three new committee chairs were named by Speaker-designate Hullinghorst:

  • Education–Representative John Buckner (D-Aurora),
  • Agriculture–Representative  Ed Vigil (D-Fort Garland), and
  • Appropriations—Representative Dave Young (D-Greeley).

The other committee chairs are reappointments by Speaker-designate Hullinghorst from the 69th General Assembly:

  • Business Affairs and Labor—Representative Angela Williams (D-Denver),
  • Finance—Representative Lois Court (D-Denver),
  • Health, Insurance & Environment—Representative Beth McCann (D-Denver),
  • Judiciary—Representative Daniel Kagan (D-Cherry Hills Village),
  • Local Government–Representative. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora),
  • Public Health & Human Services—Representative Dianne Primavera (D-Broomfield),
  • Veterans and Military Affairs –Representative Su Ryden (D-Aurora, and
  • Transportation and Energy–Representative Max Tyler (D-Lakewood)
  • Speaker-designate Hullinghorst shortened the name of the Business, Labor, Economic and
  • Workforce Committee to Business Affairs and Labor.

U.S. Labor Department Announces Apprenticeship Grant Program

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) launched an apprenticeship grant program yesterday called the “American Apprenticeships Grants.” The DOL will use $100 million in H-1B funds to award 25 grants across the country to partnerships among employers, labor organizations, training providers, community colleges, local and state governments, the workforce system, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based organizations. In order to qualify for a grant, these partnerships must:

  • Launch apprenticeship models in such new, high-growth fields as information technology, health-care, and advanced manufacturing;
  • Align apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement such as Colorado’s implementation of the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP); and
  • Be able to scale successful apprenticeship models.

Colorado is already gaining recognition through this grant program. Yesterday, the DOL announced a new apprenticeship-focused partnership between a manufacturer in Pueblo, Pueblo Community College, and the DOL Office of Apprenticeship, Colorado (Region IV) for the skilled position of Mechatronics Technician.

This announcement compliments an effort at the state level to incentivize employers in the advanced industries to offer internships to high school graduates and college students. The idea, which was considered during the last legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly and will be considered again in 2015, would reimburse employers for a portion of the expense they incur in offering apprenticeships.

For information this initiative and on CACI’s Manufacturing Initiative, contact Patrick Pratt, Program Manager, at 303.866.9657.

News Media Coverage

Below is recent news-media coverage of state and federal political, policy and governmental issues of interest to CACI:

Unions win again at NLRB with ‘ambush elections’ rule,” by Kent Hoover, The Denver Business Journal, December 12th.

Colorado eco devo commission questions state’s role in maintaining Frontier Airlines jobs,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, December 12th.

Colorado offers biggest incentive in state history to company considering 1,000-job facility,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, December 11th.

Jenise May loses Colorado House seat, tapped to serve as adviser to the speaker,” by Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, December 11th.

Lawmakers-elect practice life in the Colorado legislature,” by Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, December 10th.

Audit: Colorado health exchange lacks controls,” by Electa Draper, The Denver Post, December 8th.

Leeds study: Colorado to be among top 10 states for job growth in 2015,” by Heather Draper, The Denver Business Journal, December 8th.

Audit of Colorado health exchange finds accounting faults,” by Mark Harden, The Denver Business Journal, December 8th.

Diverging from Hickenlooper, Democrats consider not supporting tax refund,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, December 2nd.

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper looks to second term after bruising campaign,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, November 27th.

Joint Budget Committee already looking at numbers,” by Miller Hudson, The Colorado Statesman, November 21st.

Hickenlooper budget plan endorses tax rebates, new state spending,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, November 3rd.

Hickenlooper silent on tax refunds, marijuana money in budget plan,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, October 20th.