October 31, 2014

Oklahoma launches latest anti-union assault

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma legislature, following in the footsteps of Ohio and Wisconsin, has repealed a 2004 state law granting collective bargaining rights to non-uniformed public employees in cities with populations greater than 35,000.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to sign the bill into law.

Cities may still choose, on their own, to bargain collectively with their non-uniformed employees.

Separately, the Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation prohibiting cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to retired state employees so long as the pension fund is not fully funded. The state pension fund currently has an unfunded liability exceeding $16 billion. The bill now heads to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.