Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Collective Bargaining Clears House Committee, 3 VEA Priority Bills Pass Senate


January 28, 2020


Yesterday was a big day in Virginia for school employees. Three of VEA’s priority bills passed the Senate with bipartisan support, and Delegate Guzman’s HB582, which would establish a State Labor Relations Board and allow public sector employees to collectively bargain, passed the full House Labor and Commerce on a 12-9, party-line vote.

SB98 from Senator Mamie Locke restores teacher probation to three years. This legislation came directly from a New Business Item at the 2019 VEA Convention. This legislation reverses one piece of the damage done under the Bob McDonnell administration during their attack on due process for teachers. We were excited to see good friends on both sides of the aisle vote in favor of this legislation. It passed 25-15 and will head to the House of Delegates. We do have a House companion to the bill (HB365 Carroll Foy) that passed the House Education Subcommittee on PK-12 and will be in the full committee on Wednesday. Here is the vote from SB98, a YEA vote was the RIGHT vote:

YEAS--Barker, Bell, Boysko, Chafin, Cosgrove, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hashmi, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McPike, Morrissey, Petersen, Pillion, Saslaw, Spruill, Surovell, Vogel--25.

NAYS--Chase, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Hanger, Kiggans, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Reeves, Ruff, Stanley, Stuart, Suetterlein--15.

Thank you to Senators Chafin, Cosgrove, Pillion, Vogel for breaking with the Republican Caucus to vote in favor of the bill.

SB167 from Senator Barbara Favola would remove the language in Code that allows for a single unsatisfactory evaluation to be used to declare a teacher incompetent and be fired. That language was also added in 2013 during the attack in teachers. Again, we had Republicans break from their caucus to vote with us on this bill. A YEA vote was the right vote:

YEAS--Barker, Bell, Boysko, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hashmi, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McPike, Morrissey, Petersen, Pillion, Saslaw, Spruill, Surovell, Vogel--23.

NAYS--Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Hanger, Kiggans, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Reeves, Ruff, Stanley, Stuart, Suetterlein--17.

Thank you, again, to Senators Vogel and Pillion for voting with us on this legislation. The House companion bill (HB570 Guzman) is in the full House Education Committee after passing the subcommittee on a party-line vote.

SB377 from Senator John Bell restores the option of a three-person panel in teacher grievance cases. This option was stripped from teachers in the 2013 attack. Senator John Bell has a long history of working hard to reverse the 2013 action. As a member of the House of Delegates, John Bell filed this legislation every year even when the Republicans in the House would reprimand him. He is a true champion for us on this issue. Th bill passed the Senate on a 23-17 vote. A YEA vote was the right vote:

YEAS--Barker, Bell, Boysko, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hashmi, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McPike, Morrissey, Norment, Petersen, Saslaw, Spruill, Surovell, Vogel--23.

NAYS--Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Hanger, Kiggans, McDougle, Newman, Obenshain, Peake, Pillion, Reeves, Ruff, Stanley, Stuart, Suetterlein--17.

Thank you to Senators Vogel and Norment for voting with us!

The other huge news was HB582, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s Collective Bargaining for Public Sector Employees, was up in the full House Labor and Commerce Committee. Of the 21 members on that committee, 11 Democrats are co-patrons on the bill, so passage was certain. The bill was reported and referred to the House Appropriations Committee since there is a $1.5 million fiscal impact on the state. That funding supports the newly formed State Labor Relations Board. In other good news, Delegate Levine’s HB327, rolled into HB582. HB327 did not include a framework to support collective bargaining, so we were glad to see it rolled in. A YEA vote was the right vote:

YEAS--Ward, Sullivan, Kory, Keam, Lopez, Bagby, Heretick, Mullin, Bourne, Guzman, Ayala, Gooditis--12.

NAYS--Kilgore, Byron, Ware, Marshall, Wilt, Webert, Ransone, O'Quinn, Head--9.

ABSTENTIONS--0.

NOT VOTING--Lindsey--1.

It is time to put pressure on the Senators who are on the Commerce and Labor Committee. We need them to support the Senate version of the bill (SB1022 Boysko). You can click on the names of the Senators to get their contact information. Calls are best. Tell them you are a public sector employee and ask them to SUPPORT SB1022.



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