State Employees Get Collective-Bargaining Rights

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 13, 1999 | Go to article overview

State Employees Get Collective-Bargaining Rights


Legislation guaranteeing collective-bargaining rights for state employees cleared the legislature yesterday just hours before the end of the 1999 General Assembly session.

But just minutes before the scheduled midnight close, Republican Sen. Robert Neall, Anne Arundel County, erupted and began a successful filibuster to stop what he characterized as Gov. Parris N. Glendening's underhanded attempt to force collective bargaining for non-faculty employees at the state's universities and colleges. The governor had the measure put in an amended package designed to improve the state's university system, particularly the flagship campus at College Park.

"This amendment shows tremendous disrespect for this body," Mr. Neall said. "At the 11th-hour, the education governor's become the collective-bargaining governor. He was willing to put it all at risk. Once again . . . we've been handed a loaded gun and had it put to our heads."

The filibuster effectively killed the amendment to include the 8,800 non-faculty workers.

Mr. Glendening granted bargaining rights to state employees two years ago by executive order. He introduced the bill this year to write collective bargaining into law and prevent a future governor from canceling the order, taking away the right of employees to select a union as their bargaining agent.

Both the governor's executive order and the bill specify that any agreements on wages and benefits that are negotiated by unions are not binding on either the governor or the legislature. …

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