Massachusetts House approves omnibus public-sector union legislation

Massachusetts House of Representatives approves omnibus public-sector union legislation

On June 5, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 155-1 to approve H3854, an omnibus bill that would, if enacted, make several changes to the state’s public-sector labor laws.

  • What does the bill propose?
    • It would authorize employers to disclose employee information to unions.
    • It would permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings.
    • It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees
    • It would allow unions to make dues deduction authorizations irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
  • What are the responses?
    • Rep. Paul Brodeur (D), who voted in favor of the bill, said, “It prevents hard-working, dues-paying members from footing the bill for an employee who does not share in the obligation to meet those costs by paying any money into the union. It stands for the fundamental premise that you can’t get something for nothing.”
    • Rep. Brad Jones (R), who also voted in favor of the bill, said, “I think it’s a fair argument to say, ‘Look, you’re not in the union. Fine. You don’t want to pay an agency fee. You don’t want to pay dues. But if the union’s going to have to represent you in a grievance or something like that, they should be able to have a reasonable fee.’ I think everybody bought into that.”
    • Rep. Shawn Dooley (R), who voted against the bill, criticized the bill provisions that provide unions with access to employee information: “I don’t know why they also have to be able to contact them at home in their off hours. I feel it’s a huge invasion of privacy and I think it lends itself to possible workplace bullying in the future.”
  • What comes next? The bill now goes to the Senate. If the Senate approves it, it will go to Governor Charlie Baker (R).

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 102 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map June 7, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 7, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart June 7, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions on relevant bills since the beginning of the year. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state and then by bill number.

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow unions to make dues deduction authorizations irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • House approved June 5.
  • Nevada SB135: This bill would provide collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Senate approved June 1, and House approved June 2. Enrolled and delivered to governor June 3.
  • Oregon HB2016: This bill would require public employers to grant paid time to employees participating in certain union activities. It would also require employers to furnish unions with access to employees.
    • Senate approved June 6 (House had approved March 27).
  • Oregon HB3009: This bill would require public employers to provide unions with access to new employees. It would also permit individuals who are not union members to make payments in lieu of dues to unions.
    • Second reading in Senate June 5.



About the author

Jerrick Adams

Jerrick Adams is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jerrick.adams@ballotpedia.org

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