Statewide Community College Collective Bargaining Mandate Dies in Senate

A prescriptive, one-size-fits-all collective bargaining bill that would affect all Maryland community colleges has been withdrawn in the Senate. SB 408, Education – Community Colleges – Collective Bargaining, received an unfavorable report from the Senate Finance Committee. The bill’s cross-file, HB 667, was heard by the House Appropriations Committee on February 20 and no further action has been taken on the bill since the hearing.

Counties oppose the one-size-fits-all approach of HB 667 / SB 408, which limits local decision-making. The move to collective bargaining outlined in this bill could create potentially unsustainable costs for counties, who provide substantial funding for community colleges throughout Maryland – especially since the legislation does not envision any added State support.

From the MACo testimony:

Current state laws include distinct collective bargaining processes for community colleges in several jurisdictions. Several colleges already have some locally-authorized collective bargaining. This bill allows for collective bargaining contracts at those colleges to continue only until they expire. After that point, the existing systems must be repealed and substituted for the far more detailed and restrictive collective bargaining process required by HB 667.

As partners in the network of community colleges serving the states’ residents, county governments reserve the ability to have input into potentially costly shifts in community college administration.”

MACo opposed identical legislation in past sessions of the General Assembly. Click here for previous Conduit Street coverage.

For more on MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session, visit our Legislative Tracking Database.