Washington County judge rejects employees' bid for bargaining rights - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Washington County judge rejects employees' bid for bargaining rights

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) -- A judge has turned back efforts of a municipal employees group to unionize by ruling that the city's population does not exceed 35,000.

District Judge Janice Dreiling ruled Wednesday in favor of Bartlesville's motion for summary judgment, finding that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees did not provide evidence that Bartlesville met the population threshold giving collective bargaining rights to municipal employees.

"There has been nothing presented to this Court to rebut the population figures and estimates submitted by the city that were compiled and certified by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce," Dreiling wrote in her ruling.

The challenge in Bartlesville is the latest after a state law that took effect in November allowed employees of any city with 35,000 or more people to receive collective bargaining rights.

The law has been overturned in separate district court cases, but the rulings are being appealed by two unions.

"Now that this matter has been resolved, we're looking forward to working with all of our employees," Bartlesville City Manager Steve Brown said.
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