Since the February 7 Business and Labor Committee hearing, those interested in the issue of collective bargaining and CIR (Commission on Industrial Relations) have been waiting for the contents of the shell bill introduced by Committee Chair Steve Lathrop at the beginning of the legislative session. At the end of March, details began, finally, to emerge and Lathrop filed a 67 page amendment.
Lathrop has scheduled a hearing for this coming Wednesday, April 13, at NOON, for that proposed amendment. We urge those who might possibly be able to attend to do so. All others are encouraged to allocate some time in the next couple of days to write to their own Senator, the Business and Labor Committee, and the Governor. We will provide some additional details and information in the next couple of days, along with an analysis of the Lathrop’s proposed amendment.
Linda and I are currently analyzing the 67 page amendment and reviewing the 220+ page transcript from the February 7 hearing.
I’ve been reviewing the media coverage of the issue since Lathrop introduced the amendment text and have provided links to many articles, editorials, and Letters to the Editor, below (Be sure to read my note preceding the list.)
A preliminary examination of Lathrop’s proposed amendment indicates that the “cure” – Lathrop’s amendment – is worse than the disease. That disease, of course, is Nebraska’s current state statutes affecting collective bargaining by government with public employees and it’s growing cost to taxpayers.
Important note: We believe there is little reason for optimism that there will be any positive reform of Nebraska’s collective bargaining statutes unless Nebraskans make very clear to their own Senators and the Governor they expect it.
The title of the last article we published on this subject is still true today…
If the issue continues to be handled as it has been, its possible that Lathrop’s proposal could be actually adopted, which would make the current system even worse.
We don’t believe the effort to bring “substantive, meaningful reform” to this issue has been all that serious. The information coming out of the Unicameral and the Governor’s office gives all the appearance of avoiding direct confrontation on the issue during the current Legislative session and preserving it as a 2012 election issue. Stay tuned for additional information on that subject.
Notes about news articles listed below:
It’s important to explicitly state: I am NOT sharing these article links because I believe all of them are good sources of information on the subject. There is information to be gleaned from some, but for the most part, I recommend reading with skepticism and critical analysis. Much is left out.
I have highlighted a few in orange font that accurately state some of the problems with Lathrop’s proposed amendment. Note that we are not endorsing some of the positions advocated by the highlighted articles. Information we hope to release before Wednesday’s hearings should make clear the reasons for the caveat.
Lincoln Journal Star articles:
April 5, Local View by Coby Mach: “Legislature should reject LB397 and support real CIR reform“
April 7, Editorial: “CIR reform plan flawed”
April 10, Letter to the Editor: “CIR bill needs more scrutiny”
Omaha World-Herald articles:
March 12: A collective bargaining overhaul?
April 1, Editorial: Scrutinize every detail in CIR plan
April 11, Midlands Voices: CIR’s power invites failure
Associated Press article
Some GiN Articles and Resources:
Collective Bargaining Advocates Protect Their Own: Who Protects Taxpayers?
PRINTABLE FLYER: (click the image below to download the 2 page PDF flyer)
Flyer also available in our Scribd archive.