As Supreme Court Releases Agency Fee Opinion, Maryland Senators Hear Collective Bargaining Bill

The Supreme Court released its long-awaited opinion in a case about union fees today, as reported by the New York Times and others. The tie decision means that public unions may continue to collect fees from workers who chose not to join the union and do not want to pay for the unions’ collective bargaining activities.

Also today, the Maryland Senate Finance Committee held a hearing today on HB 27 Education – Community Colleges – Collective Bargaining. The bill has passed the House of Delegates with amendments.

MACo and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges oppose the community college collective bargaining legislation as an intrusion on local governance. The bill would require all community colleges in Maryland to have the same detailed and restrictive collective bargaining processes.

The legislation mandates a State-imposed system and costs, with no county participation in bargaining, and no additional State funding. The bill extends collective bargaining rights to community college adjunct faculty and other community college employees.

Topics raised by the Senators in today’s hearing included the topic of union fees and other concerns about the legislation:

  • The effect of the legislation on community college budgets and administration
  • The importance of community college programs in areas of the state still recovering from the recession
  • How this legislation would affect community colleges funded by more two or more counties jointly, such as Wor-Wic and Chesapeake College
  • Whether this legislation would also bring collective bargaining rights to employees of the University of Maryland System
  • Union fee rules and how the rules would apply to adjunct faculty

For more information about this bill and MACo’s position, see our previous post, More Study Needed on Community College Collective Bargaining.

To get involved with this issue, see the MACo Action Alert: MACo Action Alert: Bill To Require Collective Bargaining Systems in Community Colleges Is Advancing.

For more information about the Supreme Court’s decision, see the New York Times article, Victory for Unions as Supreme Court, Scalia Gone, Ties 4-4.