Indianapolis Star: Union sues to upend Indiana law baring collective bargaining for state workers
A public employees union has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mitch Daniels and the state personnel director, challenging the constitutionality a law that bars any governor from granting collective bargaining rights to state workers.
That provision was included in the new state budget adopted by the legislature this year.
In the 1980s, Gov. Evan Bayh had issued an executive order granting collective bargaining. That stayed in effect until Daniels' first full-day in office in 2005, when he ended collective bargaining.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, which continues to represent some Indiana state employees though they can negotiate for wages and benefits, filed the lawsuit in Marion Circuit Court.
The lawsuit seeks to nullify the law "because the executive branch of state government has jurisdiction over administrative procedures and employee/employer relations not the legislative branch, which passed the new law," the union said in a release.
David Warrick, executive director of the union said in a statement that "it's been well established that administration of state employees is the role and responsibility of the executive branch of Indiana state government. This law is an attempt to blindside established precedence and leave state employees with no ability to enjoy the same rights of a private employee."
The lawsuit also alleges that the labor provisions, inserted into the budget, violate the constitutional requirement that bills pertain to a single subject and that it violates the equal privileges clause of the state constitution because state police unions were exempt.
The governor's office had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.