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January 27,2003

UNOFFICIAL MINUTES

Prince George’s County Delegation

MC/PG Bi-County Committee Joint-Work Session

 

Minutes

January 27, 2003

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m. in the Montgomery County Delegation room.

 

In attendance: Prince George’s Bi-County Committee

 

Del. Niemann, Chair                Del. Kelley, Vice-Chair

Del. Menes                               Del. Gaines

Del. Brown                               Del. Holmes

Del. Ross                                 Del. Vaughn

 

 

In attendance: Montgomery Bi-County Committee

 

Del. Mandel, Chair                Del. Simmons, Vice-Chair

Del. Dumais                              Del. Hixson                         

Del. Goldwater             Del. King

Del. Madaleno                          Del. Taylor

 

Chair Mandel opened the session and opened the floor to action as to how to proceed between the two bills relating to WSSC collective bargaining.

 

Del. Vaughn made a motion to use MC/PG 109-03 as framework for discussion.

 

The motion passed without opposition.

 

Chairs Mandel and Niemann proceeded to lead a discussion of the various provisions in MC/PG 109-03, summarizing the provisions and seeking questions or any motions for changes.

 

Provision 11.5-101: Provides definitions of the terms “confidential employee” and “probationary employee”- No Questions

 

11.5-102 (A):  Summarizes who is NOT covered in the collective bargaining.  Del. Menes moved to omit sections (4) and (5).  Comments were invited from proponents of the two bills.

 

Paul Drummer, Legal Counsel, WSSC, clarified who would be excluded in the two sections, primarily staff of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the internal auditor. 

The reason is the potential conflict of interest due to sensitive information that these employees would handle in regards to collective bargaining.

 

Bob Stewart, Legislative Director, MCGEO (Municipal and County Government Employees Organization), made the comparison that working in the CEO’s office at WSSC is equivalent to working in the County Executive’s office.  He indicated that his organization had no problem with excluding the employees covered.

 

Del.  Menes withdrew her motion.

 

Question from Chair Niemann:  Are law officers (police and/or security officers) included under same exclusionary guidelines as GM staff and internal auditor.  They were explicitly listed in MC/PG 107.

 

After discussion, no motion was made.

 

11.5-102 (B):  Defines that there would be TWO collective bargaining units at WSSC.

 

Question from Chair Niemann and Chair Mandel:  What about additional units, especially in light of the fact that there is a third unit already there that is represented?  Last year, a third unit was added to cover the service labor and trades.  Any comments?

 

Pat Fletcher, President, AFSCME local 2898:  The problem with language used last year, which listed some specific jobs, is that WSSC has created new “flexible” job titles.

 

P. Drummer:  Thee are problems with defining a unit by job title.  Under other labor laws, the composition of the bargaining unit is negotiated.  That’s what the Commission would prefer and what is in MC/PG 107-03.

 

B. Stewart:  MCGEO would support including the service, labor and trade employees that AFSCME currently represents under a bill.  The structure of WSSC not so complicated that a bill could not define units adequately.

 

Del.  Madaleno:  Makes a statement that based on handouts from previous session, MNCPPC has FOUR collective bargaining units. 

 

Chair Niemann:  Asked if there is a motion to amend MC/PG 109-03.

 

Del. Simmons moved as an amendment language from last year’s bill to add a third unit with a general description of skills involved and not a detailed listing of jobs.

 

Question from Del. Brown:  What is the practice in other state laws?

 

Chair Mandel:  The point here is to make good public policy.  It is up to the committee to decide.

 

Question from Del. Holmes:  Would anyone be left out if we adopted the amendment?

 

Monica Johnson on behalf of WSSC:  There is an AG opinion that the current language in MC/PG 109-03 would decertify AFSCME.  Furthermore, AFSCME would have to stand for re-election if it’s to be included in the bargaining unit in current bill.

 

Del. Holmes:  Very concerned about the decertifying of AFSCME.

 

Chair Mandel:  The current bargaining contract with AFSCME expires June 30, 2003.  If the bill became law, it would not be effective till October of 2003.

 

Chair Niemann:  Any collective bargaining bill passed would, in effect, decertify AFSCME as a representative of the old unit and force them to win a new election.  It would not matter what bill was passed.

 

Del. Simmons:  If we “define” unit today what about the jobs in the future that WSSC might create under its new flexible job titles?  Will there be the same problem after MC/PG 109-03 is amended?  What about new defined units?

 

P. Drummer:  WSSC is still in the process of defining and possibly redefining titles and functions. 

 

Chair Niemann:  There is a process spelled out later in the MC/PG 109 for resolving disputes about who is in a bargaining unit.  That might help solve problems.

 

 

Question put to the body:  Amendment passed to define third unit.

 

Del. Madaleno:  Motion to add a fourth unit for security and law enforcement personnel.

 

B. Stewart:  Sworn officers cannot be a part of a bargaining unit with other employees, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.

 

Question from Del. Brown:  What are the current numbers of sworn officers and security personnel?

 

P. Drummer:  WSSC has twenty sworn officers, with plans to hire ten new officers, and about fifteen non-sworn security officers.

 

Motion to table to add fourth unit until specific language can be drafted.  Agreed to by the body.

 

11.5-103 Any organization certified to represent a unit will be the exclusive bargaining agent, to represent all employees without regard to membership in the organization.  No questions of motions.

 

11.5-104 Creation of Labor Relations Administrator psition.

 

Question from Del. Taylor:  What is the cost in using a Labor Relations Administrator?  What are the hours involved?

 

B. Stewart of MCGEO passed out fiscal notes on current cost of a LRA.

 

Chair Niemann:  What is the actual cost to WSSC as opposed to the costs that would be shared?

 

P. Drummer: $250 per hour is an accurate rate.  Impossible to know the exact total cost.

 

Chair Mandel:  Do we need to put a cost sharing mechanism in up front, when the position is first created?

 

No further motions.

 

Chair Niemann suggested that next session will begin with a discussion of 11.5-105.

 

Session adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

·        Amendment 1 – definition of third bargaining unit

 

 

 

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