State workers ask state to OK union representation

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PHOENIX (AP) -- State officials are reviewing Arizona Department of Environmental Quality employees' request for union representation.

Spokesman Alan Ecker said Department of Administration officials are sorting through the filing submitted Dec. 24 by the Service Employees International Union on behalf of DEQ workers.

The next step is for the state to determine whether the minimum 30 percent of employees want union representation to trigger an election. Ecker said Tuesday he doesn't know when that determination will be made.

A recent order by Gov. Janet Napolitano gives state workers the right to have representatives "meet and confer" with agency officials about money matters and work conditions but not to conduct collective bargaining.

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