MACo Associate Director Les Knapp was part of a panel of library associations testifying in opposition to SB 225 before the Senate Finance Committee on March 2. The bill, sponsored by Senator Nancy King, would authorize non-management library employees to form employee organizations and engage in collective bargaining. The bill also includes mediation and limited binding arbitration provisions.
Mr. Knapp stated that the bill imposed a costly and unnecessary mandate on both the counties and public library systems at a time they are facing signficant State aid reductions and budgetary challenges. He described how counties have been recently criticized for giving multi-year pay raises that they are legally bound to provide under a collective bargaining agreement. Representatives from the Maryland Library Association and the various county associations also argued that the decision to organize should be left up to each individual jurisdiction and that process should not be forced on them.
The hearing for the bill’s cross-file, HB 881, is set for March 9 before the House Appropriations Committee.