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Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Workers

Jeremy Sprinkle
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It's time we repeal the Jim Crow era ban

(Picture) Rep. Larry Shaw speaking at HOPE press conference

State Rep. Larry Shaw speaks about repealing GS 95-98 at press conference

Tuesday's press conference with State legislators, the NC NAACP and representatives of several public employee sectors, presented the case for repealing G.S. 95-98, which prohibits government entities from contracting with a bargaining agent for public employees.

A coalition of more than 100 supporting partners is urging lawmakers to repeal this collective bargaining prohibition which denies public sector employees the fundamental tool that millions of Americans have used to improve their working conditions and stand up for their rights on the job.

“My brothers and sisters in the Raleigh Police Department give our very best effort to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Rick Armstrong, President of the Raleigh Police Protective Association and member of Teamsters Local 319. “It is time that the General Assembly stands up for the rights of public employees to bargain collectively – just like workers in the private sector.”

(Picture) Sign On for HOPESupport for the coalition is broad and growing

“We have the broadest support we have ever had for this issue,” said MaryBe McMillan, spokesperson for the Hear Our Public Employees (HOPE) Coalition. “We are simply asking that our state’s firefighters, police officers, school teachers and other public servants have the same rights as workers at Walmart, McDonalds and other private employers.”

The Reverend Dr. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, said that collective bargaining rights for public workers would benefit everyone in North Carolina.

“If state and local government workers had the right to sit across the table from agency managers and jointly address this crisis as reasonable people,” he said, “I believe the resulting collective thinking about how to reduce costs would be fairer, would spread the pain evenly, would result in creative ideas for improving efficiency, and would engage public employees in a massive reconstruction effort to get North Carolina moving again.”

You can go ahead and contact your legislators to support House Bill 750 and Senate Bill 427.