MACo Opposes Local Collective Bargaining Mandate

MACo Policy Associate, Kevin Kinnally, testified in opposition to legislation (HB 1370) that would require all counties to extend collective bargaining rights to all of their employees – except for supervisory, managerial, or confidential employees, or elected or appointed officials. This is a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all design that would expand collective bargaining rights in a third of Maryland’s counties.

MACo’s testimony states,

Maryland county governments vary in many ways. They come in different forms of government, including charter, commission, and code home rule. They are different sizes, ranging from less than two hundred employees to more than ten thousand. And, they have different levels of collective bargaining rights. Some authorize collective bargaining for all the employees described in HB 1370, some have it for public safety employees, and others do not currently have collective bargaining agreements.

Requiring even Maryland’s smallest county governments and any municipal governments in Maryland that have more than 20 employees to authorize collective bargaining to almost all their employees will create a new administrative burden, and could also create additional personnel costs. The low threshold and broad application of HB 1370 puts pressure on some of the state’s smallest jurisdictions, which may be least able to accommodate additional administration and costs.

This bill was heard by the House Appropriations Committee on March 7, 2017. Joining Mr. Kinnally in opposition to HB 1370 was Kim Frock, Director of Human Resources in Carroll County and Beverly Churchill, Director of Human Resources in Queen Anne’s County.

Useful Links

2016 Bill: HB 736

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.