Late Tuesday night the Democratic-controlled House in Massachusetts passed a bill limiting collective bargaining rights on health care for municipal employees. Although not as far ranging as Wisconsin's now notorious law which outright eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers, the bill has angered labor officials in the Bay State.
The bill does however 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. Although Governor Deval Patrick insists the bill is not like Wisconsin's, labor disagrees.
“It’s very much like Wisconsin,” said Ron Patenaude, president of United Auto Workers Local 2322. “They’re saying you can have a voice, but not a vote. That’s not collective bargaining. I am totally appalled by the Democratic state legislature
Meanwhile, the issue of banning unions from using payroll deduction to collect their dues in Florida isn't quite dead, yet with just a week before the Legislature ends its regular session.