HBA-NRS, JEK C.S.H.B. 2677 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 2677 By: Bailey Urban Affairs 4/17/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Firefighters and police officers of the City of Houston are currently covered by meet and confer legislation, but there are no provisions covering the employment matters of Houston's other municipal employees. C.S.H.B. 2677 grants public employee associations of a municipality of 1.5 million or more the right to meet and confer with a public employer over issues such as wages, hours, working conditions, and all other terms and conditions of employment, and prohibits strikes and work stoppages by employees who participate in these organizations. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 2677 amends the Local Government Code to provide for local control over the employment matters of municipal employees in municipalities of 1.5 million or more. The bill does not apply to firefighters or police officers in municipalities that have adopted The Fire and Police Employee Relations Act or the provisions for municipal civil service. C.S.H.B. 2677 provides that a municipality may not be denied local control over employment matters, including wages, salaries, rates of pay, hours of employment, other conditions of employment, or other personnel issues on which the public employer and an association recognized as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all nonclassified municipal employees agree. The bill authorizes a public employer and an association recognized as a sole and exclusive bargaining agent to meet and confer only if the association does not advocate the illegal right to strike by public employees. The bill prohibits employees of a municipality from engaging in strikes or organized work stoppages against the state or a political subdivision of this state. An employee who participates in a strike forfeits all civil service rights, benefits, reemployment rights, and any other rights or privileges an employee enjoys as a result of employment or prior employment with the municipality. C.S.H.B. 2677 authorizes a public employer to recognize an association as the sole and exclusive negotiating agent for a bargaining unit if a petition is submitted by the association that is signed by a majority of the nonclassified employees of the municipality. The bill authorizes an association to submit a petition requesting an election to determine whether an association is the majority representative of the covered employees and sets forth provisions for such an election. The bill requires the municipality to designate a team to represent the public employer as its sole and exclusive bargaining agent. C.S.H.B. 2677 provides that an agreement between an association and a public employer is a public record. The bill specifies that a written agreement between a public employer and a recognized association is enforceable and binding on the public employer, the recognized association, and the employees covered by the agreement if the governing body of the municipality ratifies the agreement by majority vote and the association ratifies the agreement by a majority vote of its members by secret ballot. A district court of the judicial district in which the municipality is located has full authority and jurisdiction to enforce any ratified written agreement between a public employer and a recognized association. An agreement made between a public employer and a recognized association supersedes any previous statute concerning employment matters and preempts any contrary statutes, local ordinances, executive orders, or rules adopted by the state or a political subdivision or agent of the state. The bill authorizes a petition signed by a least 10 percent of the qualified voters of the municipality to be presented to the municipal secretary calling an election for the repeal of the agreement not later than the 45th day after the date the agreement is ratified by both the municipality and the association. The bill prohibits an agreement from interfering with the right of a member of an association to pursue allegations of discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, or disability or to pursue affirmative action litigation. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 2677 modifies the original bill to require a municipality to designate a team to represent the public employer as its sole and exclusive bargaining agent. The substitute modifies the original bill to authorize a public employer to recognize an association that submits a petition as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all of the covered employees rather than regardless of whether the public employer has recognized the association selected by petition. The substitute specifies that documentation in relation to agreements between a public employer and an association is public information only after ratification by the governing body of the municipality. The substitute sets forth provisions for the repeal of an agreement between a public employer and an association and provisions for the protected rights of individual employees.