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Commonwealth's Counties

Mandatory Collective Bargaining Bills Resurface

HB 1001 (Tran) / SB 374 (Boysko), in their current form, would undermine the existing local option local governments have to engage in collective bargaining agreements with their employees and require local governments to engage in collective bargaining should their employees so choose. Furthermore, in their current form, the legislation would supersede existing local government collective bargaining agreements for localities that have chosen to enact them. The legislation also creates the Public Employee Relations Board, which shall determine appropriate bargaining units and provide for certification and decertification elections for exclusive bargaining representatives of state employees and local government employees. The legislation requires public employers and employee organizations that are exclusive bargaining representatives to meet at reasonable times to negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. The legislation repeals a provision that declares that, in any procedure providing for the designation, selection, or authorization of a labor organization to represent employees, the right of an individual employee to vote by secret ballot is a fundamental right that shall be guaranteed from infringement. HB 1001 has been referred to Subcommittee #2 of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. SB 374 has referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.

HB 1284 (Askew) / SB 623 (Lucas) would authorize firefighters and emergency medical services providers employed by a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to engage in collective bargaining through labor organizations or other designated representatives. The bills provide for the appointment of a three-member board of arbitration regarding any dispute arising between an employer and firefighters or emergency services. Under the bills, determinations made by such board of arbitration are final on a disputed issue and are binding on the parties involved. HB 1284 has been referred to the House Labor and Commerce Committee. SB 623 was reported by the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee on January 22 by an 8-6 vote.

VACo opposes any effort to mandate collective bargaining for public employees.

HB 780 (Callsen) would permit the governing body of a public transportation provider to adopt a resolution authorizing such public transportation provider to (i) recognize a labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of public officers and employees and (ii) collectively bargain or enter into a collective bargaining contract with such union or association or its agents with respect to any matter relating to such transportation district or its employees. HB 780 has been referred to Subcommittee #2 of the House Labor and Commerce Committee.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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