Amid strikes throughout the USA in industries starting from well being care to leisure to automotive manufacturing, members of the Senate Finance Committee met Tuesday to overview the panorama of collective bargaining powers for Maryland’s state workers and to debate the place alternatives might broaden within the upcoming 2024 legislative session.
Outgoing Senate Finance Committee Chair Melony Griffith (D-Prince George’s) famous that the assembly was meant to offer an outline of the present state of collective bargaining in Maryland.
“This can be a subject that we’ve heard as a pair items of laws final session. This was not a invoice listening to, and it was not meant to be an exhaustive dialog on the topic,” she mentioned. “It actually was meant to offer baseline info on collective bargaining to the committee and supply some displays on that subject.”
Absent from the committee’s assembly had been its Republican members: Sens. Stephen Hershey (Higher Shore), Justin Prepared (Carroll and Frederick), and Johnny Mautz (Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico).
David Smulski, principal analyst with the Division of Legislative Companies supplied an outline of the place new laws might allow extra state employees to collectively cut price or permit employees to cut price extra successfully.
Though Smulski didn’t relay any specifics, he did word that lots of the legislative choices would mirror earlier efforts to broaden collective bargaining.
In 2024, lawmakers might once more think about extending collective bargaining powers to school school, part-time school and graduate assistants, Smulski mentioned. An analogous invoice was filed for the 2023 legislative session, however was unsuccessful.
Future laws additionally may present extra statewide bargaining energy for employees in public libraries, and for many who tackle supervisory or managerial roles for the state.
One other potential invoice would permit public colleges academics to collectively cut price over class measurement limits.
Smulski famous that such a measure has been put forth for a number of years, however native faculty boards largely oppose it.
“That’s one thing that the varsity boards really feel strongly about, they usually really feel that they need to have the appropriate to find out class measurement,” Smulski mentioned.
One other invoice that would resurface is the Arbitration Reform for State Staff Act of 2023, which might create a technique of arbitration for when collective bargaining reaches an deadlock and the employer and state workers are unable to achieve an settlement.
Over the previous few periods, Maryland lawmakers have handed payments that allowed extra state employees to collectively cut price. Maryland ranked 14th general within the 2023 Finest States to Work Index, an annual rating of the states from Oxfam, Maryland Issues beforehand reported.
Throughout the USA there was a surge in strikes and labor actions this yr.
Monday, United Auto Employees at Mack Truck services in Hagerstown and Baltimore in addition to in Pennsylvania and Florida walked off the job.
Simply final week, 75,000 nurses, licensed nursing assistants, quite a lot of well being care technicians, and a mess of different positions at Kaiser Permanente services performed a three-day strike in in California, Oregon and Washington, and extra motion is deliberate within the coming weeks that would contain Maryland-based Kaiser employees.