Bill Text: TX HB3610 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to local control of the employment matters of officers of the sheriff's department in certain counties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-12 - Left pending in committee [HB3610 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3610-Introduced.html
  86R5174 JCG-F
 
  By: Walle H.B. No. 3610
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to local control of the employment matters of officers of
  the sheriff's department in certain counties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle B, Title 5, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 162 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 162. LOCAL CONTROL OF EMPLOYMENT MATTERS OF OFFICERS IN
  SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IN CERTAIN COUNTIES
         Sec. 162.001.  APPLICABILITY. This chapter applies only to
  a county with a population of 3.3 million or more, but does not
  apply to a county that has adopted Chapter 174.
         Sec. 162.002.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Sheriff's officer" means a sworn peace officer
  employed by the county who is covered by the county's pension plan
  and is classified by the county as nonexempt. The term does not
  include the sheriff.
               (2)  "Sheriff's officer employee group" means an
  organization:
                     (A)  in which at least three percent of the
  sheriff's officers of the county have participated and paid dues
  via automatic payroll deduction for at least one year; and
                     (B)  that exists for the purpose, in whole or in
  part, of dealing with the county concerning grievances, labor
  disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions
  of employment affecting sheriff's officers.
         Sec. 162.003.  MEET AND CONFER TEAM; NEGOTIATIONS. (a)  A
  meet and confer team is created under this section and consists of
  members representing the sheriff's officer employee groups in the
  county, provided each group may appoint only one sheriff's officer
  of the county to serve as a member of the team.
         (b)  The meet and confer team represents all sheriff's
  officers in the county and shall negotiate with the county in an
  effort to reach an agreement on concerns shared by the sheriff's
  officers regarding terms of employment, including concerns
  relating to wages, benefits, and other working conditions but
  excluding concerns relating to pensions. Only the meet and confer
  team created under this section may represent the sheriff's
  officers of the county in the capacity described by this
  subsection, except that the team may be accompanied by legal
  counsel.
         (c)  Concerns relating to affirmative action, employment
  discrimination, hiring, and promotions may be discussed by
  individual sheriff's officer associations independent of the meet
  and confer team.
         (d)  Expenses associated with the meet and confer team must
  be divided pro rata among each sheriff's officer employee group
  based on the number of sheriff's department members represented by
  each group.
         (e)  A county may designate one or more persons to meet and
  confer on the county's behalf.
         Sec. 162.004.  PETITION FOR RECOGNITION: ELECTION OR ACTION
  BY GOVERNING BODY. (a)  Not later than the 30th day after the date
  a commissioners court receives from the meet and confer team a
  petition signed by a majority of all sheriff's officers, excluding
  the sheriff and other excluded employees as described by Section
  162.008(b), that requests recognition of the meet and confer team
  as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all the sheriff's
  officers employed by the county, excluding the sheriff and other
  excluded employees as described by Section 162.008(b), the
  commissioners court shall:
               (1)  grant recognition of the meet and confer team as
  requested in the petition and determine by majority vote that the
  county may meet and confer under this chapter without conducting an
  election by the voters in the county under Section 162.006;
               (2)  defer granting recognition of the meet and confer
  team and order an election by the voters in the county under Section
  162.006 regarding whether the county may meet and confer under this
  chapter; or
               (3)  order a certification election under Section
  162.005 to determine whether the employee groups in the meet and
  confer team represent a majority of the covered sheriff's officers.
         (b)  If a commissioners court orders a certification
  election under Subsection (a)(3) and the employee groups that are
  part of the meet and confer team are certified to represent a
  majority of the covered sheriff's officers, the court shall, not
  later than the 30th day after the date that results of that election
  are certified:
               (1)  grant recognition of the meet and confer team as
  requested in the petition for recognition and determine by majority
  vote that the county may meet and confer under this chapter without
  conducting an election by the voters in the county under Section
  162.006; or
               (2)  defer granting recognition of the meet and confer
  team and order an election by the voters in the county under Section
  162.006 regarding whether a public employer may meet and confer
  under this chapter.
         Sec. 162.005.  CERTIFICATION ELECTION. (a)  Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), a certification election ordered under
  Section 162.004(a)(3) to determine whether the employee groups in
  the meet and confer team represent a majority of the covered
  sheriff's officers shall be conducted according to procedures
  agreeable to the parties.
         (b)  If the parties are unable to agree on procedures for the
  certification election, either party may request the American
  Arbitration Association to conduct the election and to certify the
  results of the election.
         (c)  Certification of the results of an election under this
  section resolves the question concerning representation.
         (d)  Each employee group in the meet and confer team is
  liable for the expenses of the certification election for the
  employees the group represents.
         Sec. 162.006.  ELECTION TO AUTHORIZE OPERATING UNDER THIS
  CHAPTER. (a)  A commissioners court that receives a petition for
  recognition under Section 162.004 may order an election to
  determine whether a public employer may meet and confer under this
  chapter.
         (b)  An election ordered under this section must be held as
  part of the next regularly scheduled general election for state and
  county officers under Section 41.002, Election Code, that is held
  after the date the commissioners court orders the election and that
  allows sufficient time to prepare the ballot in compliance with
  other requirements of law.
         (c)  The ballot for an election ordered under this section
  shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition:
  "Authorizing __________ (name of the county) to operate under the
  state law allowing a county to meet and confer and make agreements
  with the meet and confer team representing sheriff's officers as
  provided by state law, preserving the prohibition against strikes
  and organized work stoppages, and providing penalties for strikes
  and organized work stoppages."
         (d)  An election called under this section must be held and
  the returns prepared and canvassed in conformity with the Election
  Code.
         (e)  If an election authorized under this section is held,
  the county may operate under the other provisions of this chapter
  only if a majority of the votes cast at the election favor the
  proposition.
         (f)  If an election authorized under this section is held, a
  meet and confer team may not submit a petition for recognition to
  the commissioners court under Section 162.004 before the second
  anniversary of the date of the election.
         Sec. 162.007.  WITHDRAWAL OF RECOGNITION. (a)  The
  sheriff's officers may withdraw the recognition of the meet and
  confer team granted under this chapter by filing with the
  commissioners court a petition signed by a majority of all covered
  sheriff's officers.
         (b)  The commissioners court may:
               (1)  withdraw recognition as provided by the petition;
  or
               (2)  order a certification election in accordance with
  Section 162.005 regarding whether to do so.
         Sec. 162.008.  RECOGNITION OF MEET AND CONFER TEAM. (a)  A
  public employer in a county that chooses to meet and confer under
  this chapter shall recognize the meet and confer team that is
  recognized under Section 162.004 or 162.006 as the sole and
  exclusive bargaining agent for the sheriff's officers, excluding
  the sheriff and the employees exempt under Subsection (b), in
  accordance with this chapter and the petition.
         (b)  For the purposes of Subsection (a), exempt employees are
  employees appointed by the sheriff in the classification
  immediately below that of sheriff or that are exempt by the mutual
  agreement of the meet and confer team and the county.
         (c)  The county shall recognize the meet and confer team
  until recognition of the meet and confer team is withdrawn in
  accordance with Section 162.007 by a majority of the sheriff's
  officers who are eligible to sign a petition for recognition.
         Sec. 162.009.  GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO AGREEMENTS,
  RECOGNITION, AND STRIKES. (a)  A county may not be denied local
  control over the wages, salaries, rates of pay, hours of work, and
  other terms of employment, or other state-mandated personnel
  issues, if the county and the meet and confer team recognized under
  Section 162.004 or 162.006 as the sole and exclusive bargaining
  agent for the covered sheriff's officers come to a mutual agreement
  on any of the terms of employment. If an agreement is not reached,
  the state laws, local ordinances, and civil service rules remain
  unaffected. All agreements must be written. Nothing in this
  chapter requires either party to meet and confer on any issue or
  reach an agreement.
         (b)  A county may meet and confer only if the meet and confer
  team does not advocate the illegal right to strike by public
  employees.
         (c)  Sheriff's officers of a county may not engage in strikes
  against this state or a political subdivision of this state. A
  sheriff's officer who participates in a strike forfeits all civil
  service rights, reemployment rights, and any other rights,
  benefits, or privileges the officer enjoys as a result of
  employment or prior employment.
         (d)  In this section, "strike" means failing to report for
  duty in concerted action with others, wilfully being absent from an
  assigned position, stopping work, abstaining from the full,
  faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment, or
  interfering with the operation of a county. This section does not
  prohibit a sheriff's officer from conferring with members of the
  commissioners court about conditions, compensation, rights,
  privileges, or obligations of employment.
         Sec. 162.010.  PAYROLL DUES DEDUCTIONS. The county may not
  prevent automatic payroll deductions for dues paid to a sheriff's
  officer employee group.
         Sec. 162.011.  RECORDS AND MEETINGS. (a)  An agreement made
  under this chapter is public information for purposes of Chapter
  552, Government Code. The agreement and any document prepared and
  used by the county in connection with the agreement, except for
  materials created during a county's caucuses and notes that are
  otherwise privileged by law, are available to the public in
  accordance with Chapter 552, Government Code, only after the
  agreement is ratified by both parties.
         (b)  This section does not affect the application of
  Subchapter C, Chapter 552, Government Code, to a document prepared
  and used by the county in connection with the agreement.
         Sec. 162.012.  ENFORCEABILITY OF AGREEMENT. (a)  A written
  agreement made under this chapter between a county and the meet and
  confer team is enforceable and binding on the county, the meet and
  confer team, sheriff's officer employee groups, and the sheriff's
  officers covered by the agreement if:
               (1)  the commissioners court ratified the agreement by
  a majority vote; and
               (2)  the agreement is ratified under Section 162.013.
         (b)  A state district court of the judicial district in which
  a majority of the population of the county is located has full
  authority and jurisdiction on the application of either party
  aggrieved by an action or omission of the other party when the
  action or omission is related to a right, duty, or obligation
  provided by any written agreement ratified as required by this
  chapter. The court may issue proper restraining orders, temporary
  and permanent injunctions, and any other writ, order, or process,
  including contempt orders, that are appropriate to enforcing any
  written agreement ratified as required by this chapter.
         Sec. 162.013.  ELECTION TO RATIFY AGREEMENT. (a)  The meet
  and confer team shall call an election to ratify any agreement
  reached with the county if the agreement has been approved by a
  five-sevenths vote of the members of the meet and confer team.
         (b)  All sheriff's officers of the county are eligible to
  vote in the election.
         (c)  An agreement may be ratified under this section only if
  at least 65 percent of the votes cast in the election favor the
  ratification.
         (d)  A sheriff's officer who is not a member of a sheriff's
  officer employee group may be assessed a fee for any cost associated
  with casting the sheriff's officer's vote.
         (e)  The meet and confer team by unanimous consensus shall
  establish procedures for the election.
         Sec. 162.014.  ACTION OR ELECTION TO REPEAL AUTHORIZATION TO
  OPERATE UNDER THIS CHAPTER. (a)  A commissioners court that
  granted recognition of a meet and confer team under Section 162.004
  without conducting an election under Section 162.006 may withdraw
  recognition of the meet and confer team by providing to the meet and
  confer team not less than 90 days' written notice that:
               (1)  the commissioners court is withdrawing
  recognition of the meet and confer team; and
               (2)  any agreement between the commissioners court and
  the meet and confer team will not be renewed.
         (b)  A commissioners court that granted recognition of a meet
  and confer team after conducting an election under Section 162.006
  may order an election to determine whether a public employer may
  continue to meet and confer under this chapter. The commissioners
  court may not order an election under this subsection until the
  second anniversary of the date of the election under Section
  162.006.
         (c)  An election ordered under Subsection (b) must be held as
  part of the next regularly scheduled general election for state and
  county officers under Section 41.002, Election Code, that occurs
  after the date the commissioners court orders the election and that
  allows sufficient time to prepare the ballot in compliance with
  other requirements of law.
         (d)  The ballot for an election ordered under Subsection (b)
  shall be printed to allow voting for or against the proposition:
  "Authorizing __________ (name of the county) to continue to operate
  under the state law allowing a county to meet and confer and make
  agreements with the meet and confer team representing sheriff's
  officers as provided by state law, preserving the prohibition
  against strikes and organized work stoppages, and providing
  penalties for strikes and organized work stoppages."
         (e)  An election ordered under Subsection (b) must be held
  and the returns prepared and canvassed in conformity with the
  Election Code.
         (f)  If an election ordered under Subsection (b) is held, the
  county may continue to operate under this chapter only if a majority
  of the votes cast at the election favor the proposition.
         (g)  If an election ordered under Subsection (b) is held, a
  meet and confer team may not submit a petition for recognition to
  the commissioners court under Section 162.004 before the second
  anniversary of the date of the election.
         Sec. 162.015.  ELECTION TO REPEAL AGREEMENT. (a)  Not later
  than the 60th day after the date a meet and confer agreement is
  ratified by the commissioners court and the sheriff's officers
  under Section 162.013, a petition calling for the repeal of the
  agreement signed by a number of registered voters residing in the
  county equal to at least 10 percent of the votes cast at the most
  recent general election held in the county may be presented to the
  person charged with ordering an election under Section 3.004,
  Election Code.
         (b)  If a petition is presented under Subsection (a), the
  commissioners court shall:
               (1)  repeal the meet and confer agreement; or
               (2)  certify that the commissioners court is not
  repealing the agreement and call an election to determine whether
  to repeal the agreement.
         (c)  An election called under Subsection (b)(2) may be held
  as part of the next regularly scheduled general election for the
  county. The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or
  against the proposition: "Repeal the meet and confer agreement
  ratified on __________ (date agreement was ratified) by the
  commissioners court of __________ (name of the county) and the
  sheriff's officers employed by __________ (name of county)
  concerning wages, salaries, rates of pay, hours of work, and other
  terms of employment."
         (d)  If a majority of the votes cast at the election favor the
  repeal of the agreement, the agreement is void.
         Sec. 162.016.  EFFECT ON EXISTING BENEFITS AND RIGHTS.
  (a)  This chapter may not be construed to repeal any existing
  benefit provided by statute or ordinance concerning sheriff's
  officers' compensation, pensions, retirement plans, hours of work,
  conditions of employment, or other emoluments except as expressly
  provided in a ratified meet and confer agreement. This chapter is
  in addition to the benefits provided by existing statutes and
  ordinances.
         (b)  This chapter may not be construed to interfere with the
  free speech right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United
  States Constitution, of an individual sheriff's officer to endorse
  or dissent from any agreement.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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