Proposed legislation affecting public school labor relations has been filed in the Maryland General Assembly. The bill, known as the Fairness in Negotiations Act (SB 673) is co-sponsored by State Senator Barry Glassman.
Speculation as to the provisions of the bill had prompted strong reactions from members of the Harford County Board of Education in recent weeks.
Senator Glassman said Thursday in an email to The Dagger:
The bill addresses a long-standing problem in the current collective bargaining process that operates between teachers and our local boards. The current system is weighted inequitably in favor of the local boards. If the two sides cannot reach agreement, negotiations are ultimately decided by the State Board of Education which acts presumptively on the employer’s side, the local boards. The current system sidesteps real collective bargaining and thwarts the fairness of the process.
This bill refines things so that a neutral third party arbitrator will resolve labor disputes within a specific timeline and issue a decision that is binding on both parties. The arbitrator would decide labor issues only, leaving all education policy to the State Board. It does not create a labor relations board and maintains a County’s right to fund in compliance with their budget and maintains the no strike clause.
The bill’s progress through the Maryland General Assembly can be tracked from here:
The full text of the proposed legislation can be found here: