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May 5, 2015

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Sandoval won’t push bill to eliminate collective bargaining

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Gov. Brian Sandoval addresses the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at a luncheon held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval will not back a bill to eliminate collective bargaining in local government as proposed by his predecessor Jim Gibbons.

Dale Erquiaga, senior advisor to Sandoval, told a news conference that the governor will only support three of the more than eight bills requested by Gibbons.

On collective bargaining, Erquiaga said the governor will work with legislative leaders, local government officials and union members in drafting a plan.

In his “State of the State” Sandoval said “Collective bargaining must be reformed if we are to change the course on which we find ourselves.” He said he would work with government and union officials “to ensure employee compensation does not hamper government performance.”

The governor is backing the plan of Gibbons to allow state agencies to have flexible work schedules. The law now requires the opening of offices from 8 a.m. to 12 and then from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sandoval is also backing a bill to expand how loans can be made to energy efficient projects and another measure on net metering.

The governor will not support a Gibbons’ bill to change the ways school support is distributed or to reduce the time construction defect suits must be filed.

Eriquaga said the governor’s bill on reform in education and the budget bills will be ready in mid-February for introduction in the Legislature that opens Monday.

On the issue of wildlife, Erquiaga said the number one issue in calls and e-mails since the election of Sandoval has been the hunting of bears and the opposition to it. The state Wildlife Commission is meeting in Las Vegas today to consider the issue.

Sandoval has called for a 5 percent pay cut in all state workers in the coming biennium. Erquiaga said the Nevada Supreme Court and the Legislature are free not to follow that recommendation as long as they achieve the same amount of savings.

The Supreme Court did not order its employees to take a one-day unpaid furlough a month after the 2009 Legislature imposed the penalty on all state workers. The furlough was equivalent to a 4.6 percent pay reduction.

The court said it returned unspent more than enough money to make up the savings from the furlough bill. And the 5 percent cut in salaries, proposed by Sandoval, is not in the court’s budget for the coming two years.

“Equity is important,” Eriquaga told reporters.

On complaints that tuitions would have to be raised 73 percent to make up the $163 million shortfall in state funding in the universities and community colleges, Erquiaga said it had to be shared between higher tuition and sacrifices.

In 2009, the pay of the tenured professors was not docked 4.6 percent as was imposed on state workers.

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  1. The call for an overhaul of NRS288 was one of the few good things one could find to say for Gibbons. For Sandoval to ignore that, especially in light of how he wants to push more responsibility upon counties, is not what I would have expected.

    This is something that calls for a strong letter campaign to our state representatives, asking them to go ahead with it anyway. The proposed budget moves are bad enough without keeping this millstone around our necks.

    To Mr. Sandoval, this is a bad decision by you.

  2. Pick your battles. This isn't one to go to the mat for...

  3. Elimination of collective bargaining in local government is imperative for survival of local government.

    All public unions need to be banned as they are an act against the will of the people. Pubic employee unions are a danger to the people and they are a design of communism.

    The productivity of the people in a free and democratic nation can not be vested in government workers, but in the people themselves.

    Governor Sandoval you need to reverse this decision immediately.

  4. Sandoval made the right call, not so much because he cares about the power given to protection of the people through collective bargaining but because unions are one of the only groups left that have enough power to make life very uncomfortable for the govenor. Which is as it should be. Corporate america has billions of dollars to throw at politicans to persuade them to rig the game on their behalf. The only thing unions represent are major voting blocks. But when it comes time to vote, you don't want to have made enemies within those groups. Not to mention the fact that the people have a right to organize under the national labor relations. Between picking a fight with a large portion of voting Nevadans as well as trying get around a federal law, all sandoval would do is add to his growing list of voters who see him as a shill for big business.

  5. Sandoval made a good call on this. His decision also sends a non-verbalized acknowledgment that he doesn't have the support to make it happen.

  6. Well, if you don't want unions/collective bargaining here in Nevada, then give the people the right to STRIKE, Picket, and stop work. Fair trade, ya think?

    There are plenty of teachers and state workers who do not belong to the unions, who are measureably unhappy with the way things are. Folks who are union members, are members because individually, they have near nil power versus organizations with high power attorneys and lobbyists to fight for their interests. Middle Americans just don't have such money nor access, that is a fact. Hence unions and collective bargaining.

    Governor Sandoval spends enough time listening to his out of state advisors and consultants on how to reform and run our state. How is that for equalizing and leveling out the playing field?