Municipal workers file petitions

Saturday, October 30th 2004, 3:58 pm
By: News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) _ Municipal workers from across Oklahoma plan to file petitions for union representation on Monday, when a new law goes into effect authorizing collective bargaining rights to employees of the state's largest cities.

Officials of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said union organizing committees for the cities of Bartlesville, Lawton, Enid and Moore and the Oklahoma City Zoo will file their petitions at the Oklahoma Public Employee Relations Board in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act was passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in April. It grants municipal workers in cities with populations of 35,000 or greater the right to representation, according to the AFSCME.

While police and fire departments in Bartlesville and other cities are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters respectively, general city employees are not represented by a union.

But Bartlesville officials said local employees will not be eligible for union representation under the law.

``Bartlesville is not a community of 35,000 in population as required by the GEBA (General Employees Bargaining Act), therefore the general employees are not eligible to unionize under the law,'' City Attorney Jerry Maddux said Friday.