Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
In the last hours of the legislative session on July 31, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill to address issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in Janus v. AFSCME.
The bill did not reach the House floor for a vote before the end of session, however, and it is not expected to move forward during the informal session that runs through the end of this year.
In Janus, the Supreme Court struck down mandatory union agency fees, which cover direct costs associated with collective bargaining, contract administration, and representing employees in grievances and arbitrations. The court found that such fees can compel employees who are not union members to support union views with which they may disagree.
Employees must now clearly and affirmatively consent to any payroll deductions for union agency fees.
The Senate passed an amended bill that had been filed by Sen. Michael Rush. The original bill would have made the refusal to deduct membership dues from payroll an unfair labor practice under Chapter 150E, the state’s labor relations statute. But the amended, five-section bill passed by the Senate included provisions to require that unions have access to the workplace during the workday to conduct investigations of grievances, the right to meet newly hired employees for a minimum of 30 minutes, the right to use a public employer’s email system and buildings to conduct business, and access to employees’ personal information. Failure to comply could result in an unfair labor practice charge.
If the House does not act on the bill during the informal session, the Legislature could take up a new bill when the next two-year session begins in January 2019.
The MMA has been advocating for a narrowly tailored bill that addresses only the specific issues created by the Janus decision.