MTA applauds final passage of collective bargaining rights bill

MTA applauds final passage of collective bargaining rights bill

MTA President Merrie Najimy issued the following statement today in response to the Legislature’s override of Governor Baker’s veto of An Act Relative to Collective Bargaining Dues:

We applaud the Legislature’s near-unanimous decision to override the governor’s veto and enact a new law that protects the rights of all public-sector employees and the unions they have chosen to represent them.

The measure is a response to the disturbing anti-union 2018 Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. In that case, the court overturned a 41-year-old constitutional precedent that allowed unions to charge non-members “fair share” fees to support the cost of bargaining and enforcing a contract on their behalf. In a deeply divided court, the 5-4 majority voted to undermine longstanding rules ensuring union financial and organizational security. The case is just one of several recent assaults on union power by well-financed right-wing organizations and individuals.

The override votes in both chambers were overwhelmingly approved — 154-1 in the House and 39-1 in the Senate — because our state legislators recognized the vital role that public-sector unions play in advancing the public good.

The new law replaces the security previously provided by fair share fees by, among other things: strengthening the unions’ rights to meet and communicate with the employees they represent; protecting the privacy rights of public-sector employees by restricting with whom their personal contact information can be shared; and clarifying important rights and obligations concerning payroll deduction for union dues.