Senate Committee strips public employees of rights
The Senate Commerce Committee went out of their way today to strip Kansas public employees of the right to control their own paychecks and prevent state and municipal employees from having a real voice in their wages, hours, and working condition.
On a motion of Senator Denning (R-Overland Park), the Committee gutted House Bill 2096 and inserted into it the contents of SB 179, ending the Public Employee Relations Board and enacting severe limitations on collective bargaining rights for state and municipal employees, and Senate Bill 212, prohibiting all public employees from paying association or union dues via payroll deduction.
By putting these two anti-worker bills into the House bill, they successfully stop the House from any ability to have the bills heard in committee or ended. The House can only vote up or down on the bill on a motion to concur in the Senate changes. This end run around the legislative process is commonly known as railroading or ramrodding. It was used to pass the school finance bill that ends the current formula and cuts funding for most school districts.
This bill is the latest in the war on public employees being waged by conservatives in the Legislature. So far they have prohibited public employees from using payroll deduction for PAC contributions, ended fair dismissal rights for teachers, attempted to repeal the professional negotiations act, reclassified state employees to end fair dismissal rights, and now voted to dismantled protections in PEERA (bargaining for state and municipal employees) and ban payroll deduction for dues.
This bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration. If it passes the Senate, it will go to the House. We are almost out of time for consideration so the votes are likely to happen in the next couple days.
Make yourself heard!Click here for a roster of Senators with their phone numbers and emails!
Phone them and leave a message. THEY MUST HEAR FROM KANSANS EVERYWHERE!
Once you have phoned, send an email.Click here to use the KNEA Legislative email portal.
Talking points you might use:
- I do not need big government to protect me from my own decisions. I work hard for my pay and I should get to decide for myself how to manage it.
- HB 2096, as passed out of the Commerce Committee, prohibits me from making voluntary payroll deductions. How can government restrictions on my choices possibly be good policy?
- Local communities and local governments should be free to make their own decisions about how to manage employee relations and payroll systems. HB 2096 undermines local control.
- This bill is mean-spirited and unjustifiable. I ask you to stand up for the people who police our streets, fight fires, teach our children, and serve our state and community. VOTE NO on HB 2096.