On July 12, Republican Governor Charlie Baker sent an omnibus public-sector labor bill back to the Democratic state legislature with recommendations for amendments.
- What does the bill, as adopted, propose? The legislature’s version of H3854 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 for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
- What does Baker want to change? In a letter to state legislators, Baker recommended the following changes:
- Prevent unions from accessing employees’ personal cell phone numbers and using text messages to communicate with members without their written consent.
- Require unions to give new employees written information explaining their rights to join or refrain from joining a union.
- Require employees’ written consent before releasing certain information to unions.
- Require unions to provide notice to state agencies before using buildings for union purposes.
- What comes next? Lawmakers could adopt an amended version of the bill incorporating some or all of Baker’s proposed changes. Lawmakers could also pass the bill again without making changes. In that case, Baker could veto the bill. A two-thirds vote in both the state House and Senate is required to override the veto. Democrats hold super-majorities (i.e., majorities exceeding the two-thirds necessary for a veto override) in both chambers.
What we’re reading
- The Center Square, “Ohio think tank files SCOTUS brief to end union ‘exclusive representation’ practices,” July 18, 2019
- The Sacramento Bee, “California union contracts targeted in new lawsuit challenging how workers quit paying dues,” July 17, 2019
- The Chicago Tribune, “Public-sector unions stay strong, 1 year after ruling in Illinois case banned mandatory fees,” July 12, 2019
The big picture
Number of relevant bills by state
We are currently tracking 101 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.
Number of relevant bills by current legislative status
Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)
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 for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
- Governor returned to legislature with amendment July 12.
- New Hampshire SB18: This bill would allow public employees to authorize voluntary wage deductions for insurance or employee benefits offered in conjunction with their membership in a recognized union.
- Vetoed July 10.
- New Hampshire SB148: This bill would require public employers to notify hirees of their right to join or refrain from joining a union. The notification would also include the estimated annual cost of joining a union.
- Vetoed July 12.