Grievance bill passed House over weekend

House Bill 2720, which calls for a merit-based personnel system in the Department of Transportation (including the DOH), has advanced to final passage stage in the House of Delegates. It could pass the House tomorrow (Tuesday) and go to the Senate.

While merit pay and hiring sounds good in theory, this union fears it will lead to more abuses than DOH employees currently see. We have several grievances pending over nonselection and favoritism matters, and those could continue under the cover of “merit” policies.

As the Legislature finishes the 48th day of the 60-day session, these bills are two of the negative, sometimes vengeful bills that have been proposed. Some have passed both chambers and been sent to the governor, including HB 2009, which will completely ban state agencies from collecting and forwarding elective dues deductions for unions and employee organizations.

The governor has yet to take action, so the effective date has not yet been set. That appears to be in late June, or 90 days after passage.

Senate Bill 601, which hampers workers’ rights in the grievance process passed the Senate 18-15 on Saturday and is in the House Judiciary Committee.

Some apparent good news: HB 2626, which would close Lakin, Withrow, and Hopemont hospitals, plus the Manchin Senior Care Center has not left the House Finance Committee, and appears to be dead.

We ask you as always: Contact your senator or delegate, and share your views on negative legislation. We need your help.

A roundup of bills we have been following:

  • House Bill 2011, which will eliminate the 1,000-hour limit for part-time employees to be exempt from civil service protections, has been signed into law and is already in effect.
  • Senate Bill 272, which would create more opportunities for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors, has been signed into law and takes effect June 9.
  • SB 7: Limits political activity by public employees. That did not get out of a House committee in time.
  • SB 11: Declaring work stoppage or strike by public employees to be unlawful. That was passed into law without the governor’s signature and takes effect June 9.
  • SB 39: Prohibiting insurers (including PEIA) to require preauthorization for tests to stage cancer, effective July 1, 2022. The bill passed the Senate 33-0 but was not taken up in the house.

If you have questions or want us to track a certain bill, e-mail to info@uelocal170.org.