Maryland Unions to Collect Fees from Nonmembers
Maryland’s largest state employee union is set to begin collecting fees from nonmembers this month. Maryland joins the District of Columbia and at least 22 other states, including Pennsylvania and Delaware, in allowing state employee unions to collect such fees.
The theory behind the law is that the union furnishes services that impact all employees, such as negotiating health benefits and work conditions, or representing workers in disputes with managers, though fewer than half pay dues. Union officials say the extra money will allow them to improve services.
Beginning in July, Maryland public employees will see union service fees deducted from their biweekly paychecks.
The fees – which will also be collected by smaller unions – are allowed under The Fair Share Act, which the state legislature passed in 2009 largely on a party-line vote supported by Governor Martin O’Malley.
Hundreds of state workers have objected to the new fees. Smaller unions argue these new fees could force smaller unions out of existence.
Baltimore Sun: Maryland unions: Thousands of state workers compelled to pay union fees
MarylandReporter.com: Non-union state workers must pay bargaining units in newly negotiated contracts
Illinois Governor Signs Workers’ Compensation Reform
The Chicagoland Chamber, along with other business organizations, had been working over the past several months to negotiate the workers’ compensation reform that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed on Tuesday, June 28.
Quinn signed the bill at a Navistar plant where he said that the bill will “help the employers of Illinois, the workers of Illinois, all of those who are committed to economic growth by designing a law that will help our employers of Illinois reduce their premiums for workers’ compensation insurance by a high amount.”
Gerald Roper, Chicagoland Chamber president and CEO, said “Workers’ compensation reform has been a chamber priority for some time, because it believes in policies that put people back to work now and prepare our state for future prosperity.” He added that “Meaningful reforms covered under this law provide another step toward improving business investment in Illinois and getting people back to work. We are thrilled and greatly appreciative of the support of all who saw the benefits of reforming workers’ compensation.”
ChicagolandChamber.org: The Chamber Applauds Gov. Quinn for Signing Workers Compensation Reform
The Beacon-News: Gov. Pat Quinn signs workers’ compensation reform
Chicago Tribune: Quinn to sign workers’ compensation reform Tuesday
Proposal to Mandate Paid Sick Leave in Seattle
Seattle city council members will consider legislation that would mandate paid sick leave for all employees in Seattle.
If the bill to be introduced by city council member Nick Licata passes, Seattle will join Washington, D.C. and San Francisco in requiring private employers to provide paid sick days. The legislation in San Francisco may serve as a template for the yet-to-be-introduced Seattle sick leave bill.
The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been closely monitoring this issue. Members of the chamber’s tax and regulation committee discussed mandated paid sick leave in a spring meeting. The chamber plans to follow the issue and continue committee discussion once draft legislation is introduced. They also hope to gather opinions from local business members to gauge the business community reaction to such legislation.
Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce: Learn more about a proposal to mandate sick leave in Seattle
The Seattle Times: Plan would mandate paid sick leave in Seattle
PubliCola.com: Council Will Consider Citywide Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Other mandated paid sick leave news:
Milwaukee had a similar mandate that was reversed in May when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill pre-empting local ordinances from requiring employers to provide paid sick leave.
Connecticut recently became the first state to mandate paid sick leave for service workers who receive an hourly wage and are employed at a business with over 50 employees.
Policy Clearinghouse Blog: Governor Walker signs bill at MMAC
Huffington Post: Paid Sick Leave: Cities, States Putting Mandates on Employers
New York Times: In Connecticut, Paid Sick Leave for Service Workers is Approved