Stateline, a publication of the Pew Charitable Trusts reports a shift away from prevailing wage and mandatory union fee laws in state legislatures across the country.
The article shares that two dozen states introduced right-to-work bills, aimed at preventing workers from being forced to pay union dues, or measures to roll back prevailing wage laws that establish workers’ pay on public projects. Ultimately, according to the article, one state passed a right to work bill, and at least three states repealed or scaled back prevailing wage laws.
The battles this year over the legislation — perceived as free-market initiatives by proponents and anti-union by foes — reflect the tremendous power that Republicans have gained in state capitols following November’s elections and the declining political clout of organized labor in many states.
In Maryland, legislation to lower the prevailing wage threshold for school construction projects passed in 2014. With this change, all school construction projects that are funded with 25% or more State funds are subject to the State’s prevailing wage law.
On the right-to-work issue, the General Assembly passed “Fair Share” legislation, requiring a service or representation fee to be charged to public school teachers regardless of whether or not they are members of the union in 2013. Similar legislation has applied to state workers since 2009, according to the Maryland State Education Association
For more information, see the full story from Pew Charitable Trusts.