A four-year legal struggle over whether Missouri’s home care workers can unionize is finally over.
The Missouri Supreme Court has chosen to let stand the most recent ruling surrounding the results of a 2010 election, in which a majority of home care workers voted to form a labor union. A circuit court judge had blocked the state from certifying the election results, but the Court of Appeals for the Western District reversed that decision. The High Court’s decision to take no further action means that home care workers can begin negotiations on a union contract with the state.
Mo. Senator accuses state labor department of improperly manipulating wages with unions
A top Missouri Senate leader says the state labor department is improperly working with unions to manipulate wages paid on public works projects. The state calculates an annual "prevailing wage" for various construction trades in each county based on surveys of wages already paid on jobs.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, a Republican from Dexter, said Wednesday that state bureaucrats and labor unions had engaged in what he called "collusion.
Well over a thousand labor union members rallied outside the State Capitol Tuesday against various bills in the General Assembly they say is anti-worker.
In particular, they oppose legislation that would suspend the prevailing wage law in tornado-ravaged Joplin and other parts of Missouri declared to be federal disaster areas. Governor Jay Nixon (D) spoke at the rally, accusing Republican lawmakers and their backers of attacking working people in Missouri.
Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:
The Jennings City Council voted 6-to-1 last night to enter a contract with the St. Louis County police department to handle the municipality's police services. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the lone no vote came form Councilwoman Yolanda Austin , who is claiming she has flied a lawsuit to block the contract. St. Louis County has been overseeing the Jennings police Department since November 1. The one-year contract would cost $2.8 million. The Post-Dispatch reports the current budgeted cost for Jennings to run its own department is about $3.1 million.
A Missouri House Republican wants to require labor unions to get written permission from their members before deducting dues form their paychecks. The legislation by House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller would require workers to sign a forma every year authorizing the deductions. They would also have to give written consent for their dues to be used for political activities. Schoeller, from Willard, says workers should be able to decide how to spend their own money. Labor groups say the bill would require too much paperwork. They also say dues are not used for political activities. They say those activities are financed from a separate fund to which members make voluntary contributions.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Police Retirement System endorsed changes Monday to pension benefits for newly hired St. Louis police officers. The changes call for all participants, including those currently enrolled, to contribute 9 percent of their salary, up from 7 percent. According to the system's executive director, the changes would saved the city about $600,000 a year to start, and about $10 million annually after about 20 years. The Post-Dispatch reports that new officers would have to wait longer to be eligible for benefits and would not be able to receive a lump sum refund on their contributions upon retirement. Exacerbated by the bad economy, cost for city contributions to police, firefighter and other employee pension systems have ballooned by millions in recent years. City leaders have said employees face almost certain layoffs if cost cannot be trimmed.