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Maine Democrat, Terry Hayes, has signed on to a bill which would allow all Maine government employees the freedom of choice, the right to join, or refrain, from union membership. Matthew Stone has the story in the Bangor Daily News.
Rep. Terry Hayes, D-Buckfield, will be the only Democratic co-sponsor of the bill, LD 786, proposed by Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst. The bill is one of two pieces of legislation Lockman is introducing this legislative session in hopes of making Maine a “ right-to-work ” state. Lockman’s other proposal would allow an employee to work at a unionized, private-sector business without having to support the union financially as a condition of employment.
Hayes said she doesn’t think the provision allowing the Maine State Employees Association, the union that represents most state employees, to collect dues from nonmembers belongs in state law. Such a provision ought to be negotiated as part of a labor contract at the bargaining table, she said.
“I’m a staunch supporter of collective bargaining, and I’m a staunch critic of labor and management doing an end run around collective bargaining by coming to the Legislature,” said Hayes, a former member of the MSEA and the Maine Education Association.
“For me, the process is a key element here, if no-member fees are being charged as a result of legislation and not as a result of a bargaining agreement,” Hayes said.