Storey certifies union for workers

Storey County commissioners voted unanimously this week to certify the State of Nevada Employees Union as the representative of their administrative employees.

The union, which represents nearly 4,000 state workers, presented the three-member commission with signed union cards from 21 of the 23 eligible administrative employees. The union will represent not only those 23 workers but two others in personnel who were not eligible to sign the cards.

"They were legally obligated to vote for it because we met all the criteria," said Scott MacKenzie, head of the state employee association.

He emphasized the union wants to establish a good relationship with the commission.

"We want to get workers and management communicating in a meaningful way," he said.

MacKenzie said the union will meet with the employees July 20 to work out what they want to achieve in their first contract negotiation. He said they first have to establish grievance procedures, outline a contract that gives the workers rights, job security and a set of rules for both workers and management to follow.

"Then we'll hear about their economic issues," he said.

In addition to state and many university workers, SNEA represents local government employees in West Wendover and the Lovelock Water District. MacKenzie said they are branching out, offering union representation to more local entities around the state.

SNEA's Bob Romer said Storey County's administrative workers called for help because they are the only county employees without representation. Both sheriff's deputies and firefighters already have union representation and, according to Romer, have used that help to get better raises as well as better defined rules governing hiring, firing, grievances and other issues.

Contact Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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