Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Union Reform Headed to Governor

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2011) – Legislation repealing a state law requiring collective bargaining for non-uniformed workers in nine Oklahoma cities is now headed to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.
House Bill 1593, by state Rep. Steve Martin, would repeal a 2004 law that required unionization for non-uniformed employees in cities with at least 35,000 residents.
"The existing law caused unnecessary divisions in city government and drove up the cost to taxpayers without a corresponding improvement in services," said Martin, a Republican who represents portions of Nowata, Osage and Washington counties. "Passage of this bill is a victory for the taxpayers."
According to information provided by The Oklahoma Municipal League, the amount saved will vary from city to city but one city could save in excess of $900,000.
The bill would not affect the four cities that had collective bargaining agreements with non-uniformed workers prior to 2004 – Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Muskogee.
House Bill 1593 previously passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 59-38 vote. Today, it passed the state Senate on a 29-19 vote. It will next go to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.
HB 1593 prohibits a municipality from paying dues or fees to the Oklahoma Municipal League from tax revenues or any other source of public funds. The bill also prohibits the use of municipal tax dollars to be used to pay doe dues or fees for any lobbyist or entity employed to represent a municipality.

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