Should the NH legislature oversee collective bargaining?
By: LFDA Editor
The process of collective bargaining involves negotiations between an employee group (often represented by a union) and an employer, with the end result being a change in the employee benefits or work conditions.
Some lawmakers think that public employee unions have too much power over the government when it comes time for contract negotiations. Those lawmakers have proposed bills that would give the legislature the power to veto any collective bargaining agreement entered into by the state.
Opponents of legislative oversight argue that it will simply slow down already lengthy and complex contract negotiations. Gov. Hassan's 2013 public employee contract negotiations took almost a year.
Rep. Charles Weed (D-Keene) has requested a 2014 bill "to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining," and Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) has requested a 2014 bill "relative to employment negotiations between the state and individual bargaining units." The details of those bills are not yet public.
In 2013 the House killed SB 153, a bill that would require legislative approval of any collective bargaining agreement entered into by the state.
In 2012 then-Gov. John Lynch vetoed a similar bill, HB 1666.
In 2011 the state legislature eliminated so-called "evergreen clauses" from new public contracts. For more information, go to the LFDA's Evergreen Clause page.
In 2011 the legislature considered making public employees "at-will" employees once contracts expired. For more information, go to the LFDA's Public Employee Contracts page.
The state legislature considered Right-to-Work legislation on numerous occasions in the past, though Right-to-Work has never passed. For more information, go to the LFDA's Right to Work page.