In what a state employee organization called “the largest expansion of collective bargaining rights for state workers in 16 years,” Gov. Steve Sisolak Wednesday signed into law legislation to allow state employees to bargain collectively.
The bill made it through the Legislature late in the session, and then only after it was amended to give the governor the authority to effectively veto negotiated pay increases settled through arbitration if the governor determines the state doesn’t have enough money.
But supporters argued the bill, which expands collective bargaining rights to more than 20,000 employees, was not just about pay, but also about working conditions, job quality, and public safety.
“This is a historic day for state employees and all Nevadans, as collective bargaining rights will mean a voice on the job to make meaningful changes in our workplaces and communities,” said Harry Schiffman, president of AFSCME Local 4041.
“By passing this bill, we are empowering Nevada’s public service workers – corrections officers, nurses, and the people who fix our roads and take care of our veterans – to have a stronger voice for safer, stronger and healthier communities. In the end, all of Nevada’s communities and the economy will be stronger for it,” Sisolak said.
Business groups and critics on the right have long and vehemently opposed allowing state employees to bargain collectively over wages, benefits and working conditions.