1. What is Certification Election?

Certification election is a process of determining through secret ballot the sole and exclusive bargaining agent (SEBA) of all the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.

2. Where does a union file a petition for certification election (PCE)?

A PCE is filed at the Regional Office which issued the certificate of petitioning union’s certificate of registration/certificate of creation of chartered local.

3. What are the requirements in filing a PCE?

Among the important requirements are the following:

a) A statement indicating any of the following:

    • That the bargaining unit is unorganized or that there is no registered CBA covering the employees in the bargaining unit;
    • If there exists a duly registered CBA, that the petition is filed within the sixty-day freedom period of such agreement;
    • If another union had been previously recognized voluntarily or certified in a valid certification, consent or run-off election, that the petition is filed outside the one-year period from entry of voluntary recognition or conduct of certification or run-off election and no appeal is pending thereon.

b) In an organized establishment, the signature of at least twenty-five (25%) percent of all employees in the appropriate bargaining unit shall be attached to the petition at the time of its filing (Section 4, Rule VIII, of the Department Order No. 40-03).

4. What happens after receipt of the PCE?

The petition will be raffled to the Med-Arbiter for preliminary conference to determine, among others, the bargaining unit to be represented, the contending unions, and the possibility of consent election.

5. What happens upon approval of the conduct of certification election by the Mediator-Arbiter?

The PCE will be endorsed to an election officer for the conduct of pre-election conference wherein the date, time and place of election will be identified, the list of challenged and eligible voters will be made, as well as the number and location of polling places.

6.May a PCE be denied?

Yes, a PCE may be denied if:

a) it was filed before or after the freedom period of a registered CBA;

b) the petitioner union is not listed in the DOLE Registry of legitimate labor organization; or

c) the legal personality of the petitioner-union has been revoked or cancelled with finality.

7. Who will conduct the CE?

The DOLE Regional Office through the election officer conducts the certification election.

8.How is the SEBA determined?

The union that garners majority of the valid votes cast in a valid certification election shall be certified as the SEBA.

9. May election protest be entertained?

Yes, but protest should have been first recorded in the minutes of the election proceedings.

10.What happens if the petitioner union fails to garner the majority of the valid votes cast?

There will be no SEBA, but another PCE may be filed one year thereafter.

11. What are the requisites for certification election in organized establishments?

Certification election in organized establishments requires that:

a) a petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent bargaining agent is filed before the DOLE within the 60-day freedom period;

b) such petition is verified; and

c) the petition is supported by the written consent of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of all employees in the bargaining unit.

12. What is the requirement for certification election in unorganized establishments?

Certification election in unorganized establishments shall “automatically” be conducted upon the filing of a petition for certification election by an independent union or a federation in behalf of the chartered local or the local/chapter itself.

13. May an employer file a PCE?

Yes, the employer may file a PCE if it is requested to bargain collectively.

14. May an employer extend voluntary recognition to a legitimate labor organization without filing a PCE?

Yes, management may voluntarily recognize a union if there is no other union in the company and if other requirements are complied with (Sec. 2, Rule 7 of D.O. 40-03).

15. What is the role of employer in certification election?

The employer shall not be considered a party to a petition for certification election, whether it is filed by an employer or a legitimate labor organization, and shall have no right to oppose it. Its participation shall be limited only to being notified or informed of petition for certification election and submitting the certified list of employees or where necessary, the payrolls (Employer as Bystander Rule).