The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently voted to curtail collective bargaining rights for municipal workers. The bill allows local officials to unilaterally set health insurance co-payments and deductibles for their employees. The bill also allows municipalities to opt out of the option and takes veto power away from unions where a municipal entity wishes to enact the option. The measure was lauded by supporters as a law that could save cities and towns $100 million in the 2012 fiscal year.
The fate of the bill is now in the hands of the senate. Senate president, Therese Murray, said she was happy that house democrats had “moved the needle,” however, she has yet to endorse the plan. Governor Patrick, whose signature is needed before the bill can become law, proposed a similar plan earlier in the year and is expected to endorse the legislation.