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February 03, 2003


Prince George’s County Delegation

MC/PG Bi-County Committee Joint-Work Session



February 3, 2003


The meeting was called to order at 4:10 p.m. in the PG 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. Dumais

Del. Hixson                              Del. Goldwater                   

Del. King                                  Del. Madaleno                                

Del. Taylor


Absent:  Vice Chair Simmons


Chair Mandel opened the session with a correction of the bill analysis received on MC/PG 109-03.  The two counties approve the budget for WSSC but they do not fund WSSC.


Chair Mandel also addressed the WSSC memo on law enforcement officers submitted to members as a result of the last meeting.  She requested a written letter from WSSC explaining the high rate of vacancies in allocated law enforcement positions.


Chairs Mandel and Niemann proceeded to continue the discussion of the provisions of  MC/PG 109-03. 


Provision 11.5-105: No Questions or comments.


11.5-106 (A):  Election procedures under (I )and (II).


Chairs introduce an amendment on behalf of WSSC (Amendment # 2) that removes the requirement to provide personal information to an entity seeking to organize. 


Move:  On page 8 strike lines 179 through 188.


Del. Gaines moved motion for WSSC amendment for further discussion.  Del. Holmes seconded.


Comments were invited from proponents.


Bob Stewart, Legislative Director, MCGEO (Municipal and County Government Employees Organization): The request to have access to employee information within the 30 days specified keeps the union on even playing field.  WSSC has the opportunity to contact their employees via paychecks, home mailings, and company emails.


Monica Johnson on behalf of WSSC:  WSSC employees have expressed their concern of personal information going to third parties. 


Chair Niemann asked WSSC if they would agree not to communicate with their employees during a labor election?


Bob Drummer: Legal Counsel, WSSC: NO.  In addition, release of the information would be a violation of privacy laws.  A union has to get 30% of employees to sign union cards.  That would give them personal information they can use to contact those employees during the election period.


Del. Goldwater asked the question:  How does WSSC know that employees don’t want information shared with third parties?


Monica Johnson on behalf of WSSC: WSSC has received phone calls expressing the desire not to share personal information.


Del. Goldwater:  How many employees called?  And can you give the total number of employees?


M. Johnson:  A total of five out of fifteen hundred.


Del. Mandel:  What about the release of phone numbers?  Is that standard?


Bob Stewart, Legislative Director, MCGEO:  Added that phone numbers are helpful but not necessary for disclosure.


Pat Fletcher, President, AFSCME local 2898:  Under PG code: employee information is not released to the union but it is released to a third party that mails material to employees on behalf of the union.


Vote: To amend and strike lines 178-183. 


Result:  passed 7-2


There were no questions or motions as to the other provisions of section 106.



Chair Mandel:  MC counsel pointed that there was no quorum present for the vote on Amendment #2 among the  MC delegation.


The motion on Amendment #2 was restated to the body, a quorum of both delegations being present at that time.


Del. Menes:  There is no harm in requirements to provide employee information for the purpose of collective bargaining election processes only.  She would also support a provision that would provide employees with the option of not having information shared with third parties during the thirty-day election period.


Del. King:  She understands how the employees feel about information being shared with third parties.


Del. Gaines:  Had personal experience and comments from co-workers at the University of Maryland.  Employees expressed to her that they were unhappy with being contacted by union during organizing drive.


Del. Menes suggested a substitute motion.  Because her motion was not written, she moved to table the discussion on Amendment # 2 to allow time to draft language.

Moved to motion to table amendment # 2 by Del. Menes


Motion to table defeated.


Vote on Amendment # 2:  Motion to delete lines 178-183.

Result: Amendment passed 6-5


Discussion on procedure to be followed in joint meetings, voting procedures and the impact on delegation decisions.  The Chairs stated their understanding and agreement that the two subcommittees would work together on the draft bills.  Decisions as to individual provisions would be by vote of the assembled (joint) body.  Each subcommittee reserves the right to vote and make a recommendation on the final product to their respective delegation.  Each delegation is free to amend the bill, but if that creates differences, there will have to be further discussion or the bill will fail. 


Del.  Madaleno moved Amendment # 3 to add a fourth bargaining unit.  Seconded.


Vote:  11-0 in favor in adding a fourth unit.


Discussion of 11.5-108:  The Chairs indicated there were two alternative amendments introduced on behalf of WSSC concerning Sec. II; pensions and other retirement benefits for active employees.


Del. Goldwater moved first alternative motion – Amendment #4 – for discussion. Seconded.


Bob Drummer: Legal Counsel, WSSC: WSSC currently has one retirement program for all employees.  A problem might arise administratively if there were various bargaining units with different plans.


Bob Stewart, Legislative Director, MCGEO:  Pensions have been a negotiated issue in other state agencies.  The projected bargaining unit would be the majority of WSSC employees with 900 employees.


Del. Brown questions:  What is the current model for administering WSSC retirement plans? 


Bob Drummer: Legal Counsel, WSSC:  The WSSC commission adopts the plan.  The Board of Trustees governs the pension investments.  Decisions on benefits are up to WSSC.


Vote on Amendment # 4 to remove the right to bargain over retirement and pension benefits.


Result:  Defeated 10-2


Vice Chair Kelley:  Moved alternative amendment from WSSC as Amendment  # 5 to allow for collective bargaining but to add language after line 236 that these issues would not be subject to binding arbitration.  Seconded.


Vote to add Amendment # 5

Result: passed 7-3


Del. Brown:  Moved Amendment #6 to delete lines 264-265 in their entirety.  The question of what an arbitrator could or could not do is addressed elsewhere.  Seconded.


Vote to strike lines 264-265 in amendment # 6.

Result passed 10-0


Chair Niemann: Moved Amendment # 7 to delete lines 266-281.  Seconded.


Vote: passed 10-0


Session adjourned at 5:30 p.m.