Collective Bargaining Grabs Council Spotlight

Dec 9, 2015

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

Collective bargaining was briefly in the spotlight during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Democratic Councilman Glynn Hines read a proposed ordinance that would prevent the city from funding union activities for public safety employees.

The ordinance was sponsored by outgoing Republican Councilman at-large Marty Bender. A similar proposal failed in July 2014 after it was deadlocked in a 4-4 vote.

Tuesday’s measure passed its first reading with six votes for further discussion.

Republican Councilman Mitch Harper was one of those six, though he suggested tabling the bill until Jan. 1 when the newly elected City Council assumes office.

Councilman Hines said bringing collective bargaining to the meeting at the eleventh hour was a bad idea.

“I think that, again, the introduction of a legislation of this nature at this time is just not good council business,” said Hines.

In the end, the council voted 5-4 in favor of tabling the bill for an indefinite time.