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Collective Bargaining For Counties

Concerning the expansion of county employees' rights to collective bargaining, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2022 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

Beginning January 1, 2023, the bill grants the public employees of a county the right to:

  • Organize, form, join, or assist an employee organization or refrain from doing so;
  • Engage in collective bargaining;
  • Engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection;
  • Communicate with other county employees and with employee organization representatives and receive and distribute literature regarding employee organization issues; and
  • Have an exclusive representative at formal discussions concerning a grievance, a personnel policy or practice, or any other condition of employment.

The bill clarifies that county employees may participate fully in the political process.

Additionally, the bill:

  • Grants the exclusive representative of county employees the right to access public employees at work, through electronic communication, and through other means, including employee orientations;
  • Requires counties to honor county employee authorizations for payroll deductions for the exclusive representative;
  • Clarifies that specific rights of county employers are not impaired unless otherwise agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement;
  • Clarifies that nothing in a collective bargaining agreement restricts or usurps the existing authority granted to county commissioners;
  • Requires the director of the division of labor standards and statistics in the department of labor and employment (director) to enforce, interpret, apply, and administer the provisions of the bill, and, in doing so, to hold hearings and impose administrative remedies;
  • Authorizes the director or any party of interest to request a district court to enforce orders made pursuant to the bill;
  • Sets forth the process by which an employee organization is certified and decertified as the exclusive representative of county employees;
  • Sets forth the process by which an appropriate bargaining unit is determined; and
  • Requires the county and the exclusive representative to collectively bargain in good faith.

The bill states that the collective bargaining agreement is an agreement negotiated between an exclusive representative and a county with the approval of the board of county commissioners of the county that must:

  • Be for a term of at least 12 months and not more than 60 months; and
  • Provide a grievance procedure that culminates in final and binding arbitration.

The bill prohibits a collective bargaining agreement from:

  • Delaying the prompt interviewing of county employees under investigation;
  • Permitting a public employee to use paid time for a suspension from employment;
  • Permitting the expungement of disciplinary records under certain circumstances; and
  • Imposing limits on the period of time for which a county employee may be disciplined for incidents of violence.

The bill describes the dispute resolution process that the exclusive representative and a county must follow if an impasse arises during the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement.

The bill sets forth the actions taken during the collective bargaining process by a county or an exclusive representative that are unfair labor practices.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Became Law


Bill Text