House Bill 2009, which will completely ban the state from processing payroll deductions for union dues, has passed both chambers of the Legislature and is heading to Governor Jim Justice for his signature.

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee altered the original House bill with a “strike-and-insert” amendment calling for the total ban, inserting this language multiple times: “No deductions or assignment of earnings shall be allowed for union, labor organization, or club dues or fees from the compensation of officers or employees covered by this section.”

The Senate passed that version and sent it to the House, which concurred today (Friday) and passed the bill 55-43. With both chambers passing the same version, the bill goes to the governor

Currently, most of our members opt for dues deduction of $20 per month ($9.23 per pay period for 26-paycheck employees) by signature, and it remains in effect until the employee ends the deduction or leaves state employment. When this bill is signed and takes effect, members will have the option to pay by cash, check or credit card, but the convenient payroll deduction will end.

Senator Mike Romano, who represents Harrison, Lewis, Braxton, Clay and part of Gilmer County, has called the bill “simply retribution, punishment” of the teachers for their recent strikes.

In another adverse situation, Senate Bill 601 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and goes to the Senate floor. Among other things, the bill will require grievance statements to be notarized, and will open up the possibility of grievants to be charged legal fees if they lose.

There were two mildly favorable amendments to the bill today (Friday), but the process will become more difficult than it already is.

For occasional roundups of legislation that affects our members, go to the News section of our website. For questions or to share information, call (304) 347-4396 or email to info@uelocal170.org.