Here's an update on our contract
On Thursday, Feb. 22, Rep. Deb Hilstrom made a motion to suspend the House rules, declare an emergency and give our contract bill, House File 2933, second and third readings. A vote on the third reading would normally pass any bill out of the House. It is very rare to see this happen to any bill bypassing the committee process. The vote to suspend the rules was unanimous. The purpose of bringing this forward now was to raise the need to support state workers and provide them with a fair contract containing a modest increase before passing a legislative budget and providing an increase for themselves after it was vetoed last year.
Unfortunately, Rep. Marion O'Neill offered an amendment to the bill that included several anti-labor provisions. The provisions included voluntary union contribution language (elimination of fee-payer) and a provision requiring a full majority of the votes of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations to implement any contract which differs from the current language allowing for a tie vote or implementation if the Subcommittee does not meet within the 30-day timeframe. Part of the amendment included the addition of three contracts that were implemented recently as a result of the Subcommittee not meeting (including corrections officers and 911 operators).
Rep. Hilstrom made a motion to divide this amendment. The division of the amendment happened in such a way that the first vote was to amend the additional contracts into the original bill with MAPE's and AFSCME’s contracts. That vote was 111-17 in favor of the amendment. This vote signifies the support for state workers that exists within the Legislature that is nullified for the majorities own political gains. Then, the first part of the amendment was before the House for a vote. Before the majority could vote to include any anti-labor language into the bill, Rep. Hilstrom moved to lay the bill on the table. That motion passed on a voice vote. House File 2933 sits now until a motion is made to remove it from the table for a vote.
MAPE is continuing with all of their work on the contract at this point including focusing on getting a large showing for Day on the Hill for March 21. If you would like more information or to register for Day on the Hill, please go to: www.mape.org/mape/news/our-day-hill-march-21