Storey County workers file petition to unionize

The State of Nevada Employees Union is on the Storey County Commission agenda Tuesday with a formal request to represent non-police and fire employees in Storey County.

Senior Employee Representative Bob Romer said a group of the workers approached SNEA because they are the only county workers not represented. He said there are 25 administrative employees and 22 of them have signed cards asking SNEA, which is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, to represent them.

Lead organizer Dennis Mallory said they will present the petition to the commission Tuesday and expect to be approved as the bargaining unit for those workers.

Commissioner Craig "Bum" Hess agreed.

"We've always had a great relationship with our employees, so it's kind of a shame," he said. "But we don't have a choice on it."

He said he believes the movement was spurred by the fact that sheriff's deputies and firefighters in Storey received better wage increases this year than the other workers.

But Mallory said wages aren't at the top of the list. He said employee work rules, grievance procedures, layoff protections, rights and responsibilities of workers and management and job descriptions must all be worked out with the county.

"We deal with everything that doesn't have a financial impact first," Mallory said. "But the reason they contacted us is they're afraid of layoffs."

It's one of several steps SNEA is making beyond the boundaries of state government. The union represents about 3,350 of 12,000 state classified workers. It also represents workers in West Wendover and the Lovelock Water District.

Romer said the union is in the midst of a major recruiting campaign to expand its representation at the University of Nevada, Reno and is planning to offer representation to other local governments in Washoe, Clark and rural parts of Nevada.

Contact Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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