In response to the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Janus vs. AFSCME, the Oregon State Legislature and legislatures around the nation introduced policies to mitigate impacts of the ruling on public employee unions. In its ruling, the U.S Supreme Court opined that a state’s collection of agency fees from nonconsenting public employees violates the First Amendment. The ruling also clarifies that employees must clearly and affirmatively consent before any money is taken from them.
House Bill 2016 B
House Bill 2016 B modifies Oregon’s Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PEBCA) acting both within the prescriptive opinion on the Supreme Court, and defensively outside of it.
The bill addresses four major areas related to PEBCA:
- HB 2016 B requires a public employer, be it the state, city, county, or other local government to allow an employee who is a designated representative to engage in union activities during work hours.
- The bill requires public employers to provide access to employees subject to the bargaining unit by making the public employer a broker of personal information including, phone, address, title, salary, and allowing the employer’s email system to serve as a means of communication between the employee and the bargaining unit.
- The bill creates a process for authorization and access of dues and fees from an employee; and
- Additional acts are added to the Unfair Labor Practices Act under the bill, including: attempts to influence an employee to resign from or decline to obtain membership in a labor organization and encouraging employees to revoke authorizations for dues payments.
The bill has been modified from the original version that created less than desirable circumstances for public employers in terms of liability, including public records law conflicts and mandates regulating emails received at public email addresses, a seemingly impossible task. However, the bill still creates complications for counties by subjecting local government contracts to new requirements, functionally modifying every public employee contract in the state of Oregon and creating a one-size-fits-all approach to public contracts. Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) opposed this bill.
The bill passed both chambers on a party line vote, but because the bill was modified in the Senate committee on workforce, it must first receive an affirmative concurrence vote in the House before arriving at the governor’s desk for a signature.
House Bill 3009 B
House Bill 3009 B is in direct response to the Janus opinion. This bill allows the exclusive representative of police officers, sheriffs, and deputy sheriffs to charge employees who are not members of the union or not paying fair-share fees the reasonable fees and costs for representation that is unrelated to negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement.
The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, but because the bill was modified in the Senate committee on workforce, it must also receive an affirmative concurrence vote in the House before arriving at the governor’s desk for a signature.
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate