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Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council v. Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council

August 8, 1996

SEATTLE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL; PAINTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL NO. 5; PUGET SOUND ELECTRICAL APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING TRUST; SEATTLE AREA PLUMBING AND PIPEFITTING INDUSTRY JOURNEYMAN AND APPRENTICE TRAINING COMMITTEE; SNO-KING SHEET METAL JOINT APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING COMMITTEE, APPELLANTS,
v.
WASHINGTON STATE APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING COUNCIL, RESPONDENT, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRAINING COUNCIL OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT/INTERVENOR.



Appeal from Superior Court, King (94-2-18464-4) County; Honorable Jim Bates, Judge. Judgment Date: 6-21-95.

As Corrected September 13, 1996.

Madsen, J., Durham, C.j., Dolliver, Smith, Guy, Johnson, Alexander, Talmadge, Sanders, J.j., Concurring.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Madsen

EN BANC

MADSEN, J. -- Respondent Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (Apprenticeship Council) approved Respondent-Intervenor Construction Industry Training Council's (CITC's) apprenticeship program pursuant to RCW 49.04. Appellant Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council and others (Appellants) maintain that the Council's approval of apprenticeship programs is subject to the Administrative Procedure Act's provisions for adjudications. We conclude that an adjudicatory proceeding is required and accordingly remand this matter for a formal adjudicatory hearing.

STATEMENT OF CASE

RCW 49.04, enacted in 1941, concerns apprenticeship and training programs ("apprenticeship agreements"). In RCW 49.04.010, the Legislature established the Apprenticeship Council to develop detailed standards for apprenticeship agreements in accord with RCW 49.04, to issue necessary rules and regulations to carry out the intent and purpose of the chapter, and to perform other duties as required. RCW 49.04.010. The Apprenticeship Council consists of seven members, six appointed by the Director of the Department of Labor and Industries (three representing employer and three representing employee interests), and the seventh is appointed by the Governor as a public representative. RCW 49.04.010. The Director also appoints a supervisor of apprenticeship within the Department. RCW 49.04.030.

In accord with the legislative directive in RCW 49.04.010, the Apprenticeship Council has adopted rules governing its own procedures and establishing standards for approval and oversight of apprenticeship programs. WAC 296-04. Any organization desiring to register an apprenticeship or training program must submit proposed standards consistent with the statutes and regulations to the supervisor at least 45 days before the regular quarterly meeting of the Apprenticeship Council. WAC 296-04-005. At the meeting, which is open to the public, the proposed standards are discussed and, by vote of the Council, "approved, disapproved, or approved subject to enumerated changes." WAC 296-04-005.

RCW 49.04.070 provides that election to conform with the provisions of RCW 49.04 is voluntary. However, while compliance with RCW 49.04 is voluntary, Apprenticeship Council approval of an apprenticeship program triggers application of other statutory provisions. Under RCW 39.12.021, employers of Apprenticeship Council registered apprentices are exempted from paying them, on state public works projects, prevailing wage rates for journey level workers in the trade as would otherwise be required. Under RCW 51.12.130, only Apprenticeship Council registered apprentices have workers' compensation coverage while being instructed. RCW 19.28.610 provides that certain Apprenticeship Council registered apprentices may engage in certain electrical utility work without holding an electrician certificate.

In December 1993, CITC applied to the Apprenticeship Council for registration of its apprenticeship training programs pursuant to RCW 49.04. It sought approval of apprenticeship training in the electrical, carpentry, painting, plumbing, heating/air conditioning, and sheet metal trades. CITC's program is intended to provide training for nonunion (open shop) contractors.

Appellants are two union councils, the Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council and painters District Council No. 5, and three joint labor-management apprenticeship and training committees, Puget Sound Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust, Seattle Area Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry Journeyman and Apprentice Training Committee, and Sno-King Sheet Metal Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. Almost all affiliate unions of the Seattle Construction and Building Trades Council represent building trade apprentices, and almost all of the affiliates sponsor, along with employer organizations, apprenticeship programs which are registered with the Apprenticeship Council. The three committees among appellants are such apprenticeship committees, in the electrical, plumbing/heating, and sheet metal trades. Appellants' programs thus provide training in the same areas as CITC's.

At its April 21, 1994 meeting, the Apprenticeship Council considered CITC's application for approval of its training program. During this meeting, members of the Apprenticeship Council, and the audience, including members of Appellant Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council, raised a number of concerns about CITC's proposed standards, including claims that the standards were not adequate. The Council voted to approve the program if certain additional conditions were satisfied. On June 28, 1994, the acting secretary of the Apprenticeship Council advised CITC that the conditions had been satisfied and as of that date CITC's program was registered.

Appellants then sought judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), RCW 34.05, of the Apprenticeship Council's action approving CITC's program. Appellants argued that the APA required the Apprenticeship Council to hold adjudicatory proceedings when it considered CITC's application. The superior court first orally ruled in favor of appellants. The Apprenticeship Council moved for reconsideration. CITC intervened, filing a memorandum in favor of the Apprenticeship Council. The court then ruled in favor of the Apprenticeship Council and CITC, holding that adjudicatory proceedings were not required by the APA. Accordingly, registration of CITC's program was upheld.

Appellants appealed to this court, which granted direct review.

STANDING

The Apprenticeship Council maintains that Appellants lack standing to seek judicial review of the Council's approval of CITC's apprenticeship program. Under the APA, a person "has standing to obtain judicial review of agency action if that person is aggrieved or adversely affected by the agency ...


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