Oregon Prohibition of Restrictions on Negotiations for Payroll Deductions Amendment (2014)

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The Oregon Prohibition of Restrictions on Negotiations for Payroll Deductions Amendment, also known as Protect Workers' Rights to Contribute, did not make the November 2014 statewide ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have prohibited laws from restricting employer/employee negotiations for payroll deductions for various purposes. It would have included prohibitions against restricting the categories of employers or employees that may use payroll deductions, the persons or entities to whom those deductions may be directed, the purposes for which deducted funds may be used or deductions under "fair share" agreements. Fair share agreements require union-represented employees, including non-union members, to pay for union representation services they receive. The measure would have added five sections to the Oregon Constitution.[1][2][3]

While the measure was still considered active by the secretary of state's office, it was unlikely to reach the ballot due to negotiations regarding initiatives for and against right-to-work legislation. It was never approved for petition circulation.[1]

Background

Gov. John Kitzhaber was involved in negotiations to withdraw pro- and anit- payroll deduction initiatives.

Oregon was poised to become a battle ground regarding "right-to-work" initiatives. Multiple measures were proposed for and against restrictions on the use of payroll deductions and the process of negotiating such deductions. On March 3, 2014, Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) announced that several initiatives regarding this issue would be withdrawn following negotiations between the several opposing measure supporters. Thirteen measures were withdrawn due to this negotiation. The discussions were instigated by Gov. Kitzhaber in order to avoid the expensive campaigning battle that was likely to breakout between the opposing measures. The negotiations took several months to complete.[4]

The anti-payroll deduction proposals that were withdrawn due to this agreement were initiative petition 1 and initiative petition 9. The remaining withdrawn initiative petitions were union-backed measures, including initiative petitions 14, 15, 16, 18, 30 and 33, as well as 17 ,19, 29, 32 and 35. All of these measures, except for 35, were sponsored by Our Oregon.[4]

This measure prohibiting restrictions on payroll deductions and a measure prohibiting all payroll deductions from public employees to or on behalf of any public employee union for any purpose were not withdrawn due to these negotiations. However, neither petition was approved to circulate, making both unable to reach the November ballot.[4]

Text of measure

Oregon Constitution
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Articles
PreambleIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXX-AXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-F(1)XI-F(2)XI-GXI-HXI-I(1)XI-I(2)XI-JXI-KXI-LXI-MXI-NXI-OXI-PXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII

Ballot title

The following ballot title and summary were certified by the Attorney General of Oregon to read as follows:[2]

Amends Constitution: Prohibits laws that would restrict negotiations and agreements
between employers and employees for payroll deductions


Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote prohibits laws that restrict the ability of employees to negotiate for and agree to use of payroll deductions for several purposes.
Results of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains existing law, which does not expressly prohibit laws restricting employer's/employees' ability to negotiate for and agree to use of payroll deductions.
Summary: Amends constitution. Current law allows employees and employers to negotiate for and agree to payroll deductions for variety of purposes, including charitable, political and union-related. Measure changes currently law by expressly prohibiting laws restricting, for example: the categories of employers or employees that may use payroll deductions; the persons or entities to whom those deductions may be directed; the purposes for which deducted funds may be used; or deductions under "fair share" agreements (requiring union-represented employees, including non-union members, to pay for union representation services they receive). Measure does not require employers to make payroll deductions available to employees, does not repeal existing laws, and does not affect laws relating to collection of child or spousal support through wage withholding or deductions.[5]

Constitutional changes

The full text of the constitutional changes proposed by this measure can be read here.

Support

SEIU Local 503 Political Director Arthur Towers was the chief petitioner for this proposed initiative.[1][4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements & Amending the Oregon Constitution

The measure was submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State on November 12, 2013. The ballot title was certified on December 20, 2013 and the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the ballot title on March 3, 2014. The measure would have to gather a minimum of 116,284 valid signatures by July 3, 2014 to qualify for the ballot, but it was never certified for petition circulation.[1][4]

Similar measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Minimum Corporation Taxes Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Corporate Excise Tax Increase Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Income Tax Rate Increase Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Voter Approval of Employee Rights Changes Initiative (2014)
Tied Oregon No Dues Collection by Government Amendment (2014)

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