Massachusetts En Route To Strip Collective Bargaining Rights
It’s almost impossible to believe that a liberal bastion, where unions undoubtedly help create the majority in the State House would pass a veto-proof piece of legislation led by the Democrats. From Boston.com:
House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.
The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.
The AFL-CIO is not happy.
It is inconceivable to me that the power of the Massachusetts Speaker is such that duly elected State Representatives would choose to take away peoples’ rights instead of stand up to one person’s will. Here in the cradle of liberty, the first state with child labor laws, and such a rich tradition of supporting working families, 111 representatives voted to take away collective bargaining rights because the Speaker of the House made them. We deserve better in Massachusetts. Working families lost collective bargaining rights in Game 1 of this budget process…. This vote is exactly akin to why management should not have unilateral ability to thrust decisions onto people. When one person has this much power, it is a disservice to democracy - both in the workplace and in the legislature.
The bill is now going to the State Senate, where the Senate President Therese Murray (D) has said she is uneasy about the measure. The bill would save approximately $100 million for cities and towns in the upcoming fiscal year.