How will the Board’s revised rules affect existing time targets?
The Board’s revised rules do not establish new time goals for processing representation petitions and/or conducting elections. In fact, the Board specifically stated that how fast an election will occur will vary from case to case, just as it did under the prior rules. Variables affecting the timing will include (as in the past) whether the parties are able to reach a pre-election agreement; the scheduling of the pre-election hearing; the length of the hearing; the number and complexity of the issues the regional director must address in order to determine if there is a question of representation; and the regional director’s exercise of discretion, considering the preferences of the parties, in setting the election date.
Although some of the revised rules may result in some reduction in the time required for conducting elections after a hearing, primarily where the issues raised are straightforward and routine, in about 90% of our representation cases there is no pre-election hearing and elections are conducted under the terms of a stipulated election agreement negotiated by the parties. It is therefore difficult to predict what impact the revised rules will have on the overall timing of elections. We will not be able to fully assess that impact until we have had some experience processing petitions under the revised rules.