Municipal collective bargaining repeal advances

 Oklahoma cities with a population greater than 35,000 will be relieved of a seven-year-old state mandate under House Bill 1593, by state Rep. Steve Martin.
The bill repeals the Oklahoma Municipal Employee Collective Bargaining Act (OMECBA) passed and signed into law in 2004.
“In 2004 the state of Oklahoma imposed upon Oklahoma’s 13 largest cities the requirement of collective bargaining with non-uniformed employees,” said Martin (a Republican who represents Nowata, Washington, and Osage Counties). “This unfunded mandate by a state that does not even allow collective bargaining with its own employees is no more justified than would be a federal mandate interfering with a state’s employment policies.”
Four of the 13 affected municipalities had approved collective bargaining with non-uniformed prior to the passage of OMECBA, according to Martin. 
“We are not outlawing collective bargaining for non-uniformed municipal employees in Oklahoma. We are simply removing an unwarranted mandate,” Martin said.  “Those wanting collective bargaining in their communities should seek it from the voters of those communities as happened in four Oklahoma cities.”
The bill passed the General Government committee on Thursday (February 24) and will now advance to a hearing before the full House of Representatives.