State Policy To Cope With Strikes

February 15, 1968

Maryland’s Governor Spiro T. Agnew, on Monday, issued the following statement on the subject of Labor Relations with Public Employees:

“The question of labor relations with public employees has developed into a most important government problem. Disputes have become more numerous and work stoppages have focused public attention on the need for a clearly defined State policy. Piecemeal legislation will only complicate and confuse what is already a most difficult, complex area of government.

“The recent strikes of teachers in Montgomery county and sanitation employees in New York have caused legitimate public concern. They have generated strong and varied opinion, much of it based on emotion rather than information. Clearly, Maryland must take a position, but only after careful study and consideration of all points of view.

“The National Governors’ Conference Task Force on State and Local Government Labor Relations has recently completed an excellent study of the subject. They have considered the entire problem including the confusing areas of reconciling the bargaining process to the budget timetable and the impact on a State Merit System. Ten states already have definitive Labor Relations Statutes.

“I believe that now is the appropriate time to appoint a Task Force on Government-Labor Relations to consider questions of representation, collective bargaining, labor disputes and to recommend to the Legislature a comprehensive Government-Labor Relations Act which will set a clear policy for Maryland.

“I will ask the leadership of the General Assembly to nominate two Senators and two Delegates to serve on the Task Force. It will be appointed shortly and will be asked to report its findings to the Legislature and the Administration before the beginning of the 1969 regular session.”

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