MACo submitted written testimony on legislation (HB 239/SB 291) that would impose mandatory collective bargaining on the Maryland Environmental Service (MES). HB 239 was heard by the Appropriations Committee on February 14, 2017, and SB 291 was heard by the Senate Finance Committee on February 16. HB 239 is sponsored by Delegate Patrick Young. SB 291 is sponsored by Senator James Rosapepe.
The bills would require MES to recognize and collectively bargain with an employee organization that is elected as an exclusive representative of MES employees. From MACo’s opposition testimony:
As noted on the MES website (www.menv.com), MES is a self-supporting fee-for-service agency that “provides services at competitive rates to government and private sector clients and works on projects including water and wastewater treatment, solid waste management, composting, recycling, dredged material management, hazardous materials cleanup, storm water services and renewable energy.” Maryland counties and municipalities are major MES clients and in FY 2016, MES did $54.4 million in business with local governments. This represented 34% of MES’ total income for that year.
As the bill’s fiscal note indicates, MES estimates it will likely have to charge an additional $1.5 to $4.1 million annually to local governments as a result of mandatory collective bargaining. This would undermine the unique role MES plays in assisting local governments to meet numerous federal and state environmental mandates.