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February 10, 2003



Prince George’s County Delegation

MC/PG Bi-County Committee Joint-Work Session



February 10, 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



Del. Goldwater

Del. Hixson


Chair Mandel opened the session.


Del. Ross moved to reconsider vote on amendment # 2.  Seconded.


MC counsel informed body that MC did not have quorum of members.


Del. Ross, with permission from chairs and while waiting for a quorum of MC members, proceeded to explain his proposed alternative and how it reflects federal law and court cases.


Vice Chair Kelley asked what was the position of the WSSC.


Monica Johnson on behalf of WSSC:  WSSC opposes the proposed amendment because they think it is an unfair burden placed on employees to have to supply contact information to unions or other third parties.


Del. Menes:  Federal and other labor law makes it clear that unions are entitled to the names and addresses.


Vote on motion to reconsider:  Passed  9-2-2


Del. Ross moved Amendment # 7 as an alternative to provision adopted earlier as to the release of names and addresses.  Seconded.


Del. Gaines requested special order to hold vote on amendment # 7 till next meeting. Seconded.  Unanimous vote. 


Vice Chair Kelley moved amendment # 8 on procedures for binding arbitration and allowing arbitrator to craft a solution to all outstanding issues not resolved by direct bargaining.  Seconded.


Vote:  passed  10-0-2


Del Gaines moved Amendment # 9 to delete all of subsection III and replace it with language drafted by WSSC.  Seconded.


Mark Reynolds, counsel for MCGEO, spoke in opposition, saying that removing all economic issues from those subject to arbitration would effectively deny employees collective bargaining rights.


Ken Bieolic on behalf of WSSC:  WSSC thinks it’s a good amendment due to the provisions of Article 29, which include a default clause as to how the Commission’s budget is handled in the event that the two county councils cannot come to terms on the Commission’s budget.


Chair Niemann asked WSSC what would be the incentive to negotiate if there was no way that issues could be resolved.


Del. Simmons asked if there could be an amendment to Article 29 to change the default provision.


Bieolic on behalf of WSSC: The default provision has been challenged in the past.


Chair Niemann asked what was WSSC position on these challenges.


Bieolic on behalf of WSSC:  WSSC has always opposed efforts to change the default provision.


Vice Chair Kelley asked WSSC if they agreed with the fiscal notes on arbitration, which indicated only administrative costs associated with the bill.


Monica Johnson of WSSC: The fiscal note indicates it is unknown what any impact will be on the cost of wages and benefits as a result of collective bargaining.


Vote on amendment # 9: tied 6-6, with Chair Niemann casting vote opposed. Amendment failed.


Del. Kelley moved amendment # 10, which would make it clear that employees may appeal dismissals as they now can.  Seconded.


Vote: passed 10-1


Del. Niemann proposed amendment #11 as an alternative to WSSC language on grievances, allowing employees to talk with Commission General Manager so long as no terms covered by the collective bargaining agreement are changed, but making it clear that there was only one grievance procedure.


Del. Holmes moved amendment.  Seconded.


Del. Gaines questioned what would happen if the union refused or did not represent an employee with a grievance?


Reynolds counsel for MCGEO stated that would constitute an unfair labor practice and be in violation of the terms of the legislation, which requires the union to represent all employees fairly.


Vice Chair Simmons:  Any questions or concerns from WSSC?


Bob Drummond, counsel for WSSC stated that the amendment is not a problem, although he did not think it was necessary.


Vote on amendment # 11.  Passed 11-0.


Del. Madaleno made the comment that there is a problem with the current bill in that both county councils would have to act in the same way or else the default provision would go into effect and the budget the Commission has to put forward under the collective bargaining agreement would go into effect.


Vice Chair Kelley moved amendment # 12 clarifying the way WSSC would have to prepare the budget and how it would be submitted to the councils but leaving in place the default provision.  Seconded.


Del. Madaleno said we may want to change the default rule instead.


Chair Niemann said there is a lot of history behind the default rule and that the Commission has always preferred it as a way to keep either council from meddling in the affairs of the Commission.


Bieloc for WSSC said the reason for the default rule is that there needs to be finality in decision making so that there can be a budget.  The Commission doesn’t want to go bouncing back and forth between the councils.


Del. Madaleno suggested a no vote so that an alternative proposal could be crafted.


Vote on Amendment #12.  Failed 0-10-1.


Vice Chair Kelley moved amendment # 13, which would allow AFSCME to represent its current unit unless employees petitioned otherwise and would leave in place any contract negotiated before the effective date of any legislation between AFSCME and its current bargaining unit. Seconded.


Pat Fletcher, AFSCME Council 67:  In the language of the amendment, for clarity the Local is Local 2898.


Del. Brown asked for additional clarity on the number of bargaining units included within the amendment.  Discussion clarified that it applies to AFSCME representation of service, labor and trades unit, whose contract expires in June 2003. 


Vote on amendment # 13.  Passed 11-0.


Del. Ross moved amendment # 14, striking lines 131-133, and requiring the Commission to choose among four specified selections for the first Labor Relations Administrator.  Seconded.


Del. argued against the amendment, saying WSSC knows who and how to choose a fair unbiased administrator and that the legislature should not be in the business of picking the person to do the job. 


Bob Drummer, counsel to WSSC said they were familiar with the specific people referenced and had no problem with them, but objected to the concept, which might also increase the cost of paying a administrator.


Vote on amendment # 14.  Failed 5-5.


The session was adjourned at 5:38 p.m.