Petitions are being circulated and reviewed as state workers take the first steps to unionize. Those wanting to form a union must get a third of the workforce within their particular sections to sign petitions. Once verified by the State Board of Mediation, a conference is held and an election follows. If workers say yes, Board of Mediation Chairman John Birch says the union then becomes the exclusive bargaining unit. Probation and parole workers as well as healthcare professionals have shown interest in having the Service Employees International Union representing them.