Monday, November 21, 2011

Montgomery County Police Succeed in Placing Bargaining Rights on 2012 Ballot // Board of Elections Certifies 34,828 Signatures

Montgomery County police have succeeded in putting the fate of their bargaining rights in front of voters in 2012. A government employee informs Maryland Juice that the Montgomery County Board of Elections has certified 34,828 signatures submitted by the police employee's union. The announcement came by way of a letter from Election Director Margaret Jurgenson to the County Executive and County Council President. Some police bloggers apparently got involved in the signature-gathering to subject Bill 18-11 to a referendum:

The Gazette previously reported on the reasons for the signature-gathering effort from the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 35:
Montgomery County police officers are asking voters to restore their right to negotiate over transfers, new equipment and staffing levels, a right prohibited earlier this year by the County Council.

Police officers, along with a company the union has hired and representatives of the county government employees’ union, have gathered about 40,000 signatures in support of putting a question about collective bargaining on the ballot in the 2012 general election. The question would ask voters whether they wish to restore effects bargaining, which gives the union the right to negotiate over management decisions unrelated to salary, benefits and working conditions....

To put the issue before voters next year, the union must have 30,234 valid signatures — 5 percent of the county’s 604,669 registered voters at the time the law was signed by County Executive Isiah Leggett, according to Kevin Karpinski, the attorney for the county’s Board of Elections.
The police have succeeded in certifying 34,828 signatures, effectively asking Montgomery County voters to decide whether or not to keep Bill 18-11. We copy the language of the cops' targeted bill below:

Montgomery County Bill 18-11: Police Collective Bargaining Rights

More information is available at the FOP Lodge 35's website.

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