… But Not All the Votes Are Counted Yet ….
It looks like the voters in the City of Vallejo have repealed the City charter provision requiring binding interest arbitration to resolve collective bargaining disputes. Although it was initially reported that Measure A had passed, the Times Herald was reporting as of this afternoon that thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots remain to be counted. (See article here.) According to the Solano County Registrar’s website, Measure A is currently ahead by 454 votes (7014 to 6065).
Assuming that the measure passes, it may be a harbinger of things to come. In 1970, Vallejo became the first city or county in California to pass a local provision requiring binding interest arbitration. Since then 23 other cities and counties have passed similar measures, the most recent (to my knowledge) being the City of Oroville in 2004. Now, Vallejo has become the first city or county in California to repeal its binding interest arbitration requirement. I believe many other local entities will try to follow Vallejo’s lead by sponsoring similar measures in the November elections. Whether those measures succeed or not remains to be seen. Without a doubt, public employee unions will vehemently oppose such measures. The unions in Vallejo opposed Measure A, but were greatly weakened financially and had lost a lot of public support by the bankruptcy proceedings involving the City. Unions elsewhere will not face the same financial constraints. However, will they face the same public backlash? We’ll have to wait to find out.