Labor unions push bill that would give bargaining advantages
Monday, March 18, 2019
A bill curtailing some collective bargaining issues is on the move despite strenuous opposition from school districts and other public employers.
House Bill 2016 is a major bill for public sector labor organizations and could be damaging to school districts statewide.
The House Business and Labor Committee discussed the bill Monday, March 11. It was supported by all major labor organizations in Oregon, including the Oregon Education Association, SEIU 503, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon AFSCME and others.
Described by proponents as a response to the United States Supreme Court 2018 decision in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME, the bill would put into law practices related to workplace complaints that are currently bargained by school districts. The changes proposed in the bill would greatly expand employee and union rights around employee leave, union activity and data privacy and could put school districts and students on the hook for increased costs.
“This bill mandates a one-size-fits-all on school districts,” OSBA Legislative Services Director Lori Sattenspiel told committee members, and would “move already scarce dollars out of the classroom.”
OSBA was joined by the League of Oregon Cities and veteran education law attorney Nancy Hungerford in opposition to the measure. Although some members of the committee, including Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, expressed concern over the potential damage the bill could do to employers, most of the members of the majority-Democrat committee expressed support for the measure.
The measure is scheduled for a work session Monday, March 18. This is normally a clear indication that the bill has enough votes to move out of committee and successfully pass the House floor.
OSBA continues to work strenuously to oppose this bill.
“At a time in Oregon when we’re trying to uphold that balance between labor and management to benefit students,” Sattenspiel said, “this bill could do real damage.”