On Friday, the West Virginia Supreme Court struck down a lower court injunction that blocked the state's recently passed (2016) right-to-work law. The decision lifts an injunction issued by Kanawha County Circuit Judge, Jennifer Bailey, on February 24, 2017.
The Courts's majority opinion chastised the lower Court's decision as "an abuse of discretion" and remanded the lower court to conduct a final hearing on the merits of the parties' contentions. We can probably expect another Supreme Court review once Judge Bailey issues her final decision. One or more affected parties will surely appeal any prospective decision and all parties will be watching the Supreme Court for a final determination on the issue. It is worth noting that Supreme Court's recent opinion does state that unions are unlikely to prevail in any subsequent Supreme Court appeal.
Subject to any legal review conducted by OVCEC's counsel, it is my understanding that any right-to-work application/request can be invoked by employees in any new or prospective contract. Existing contracts will remain in force until their expiration dates.
In other statehouse news, a legislative interim committee established to uncover government waste has heard testimony casting serious questions on the School Building Authority's program requiring the hiring of construction managers on school construction projects. Various architects and contractors are questioning the value and necessity of the managers while those performing construction management functions argue that their services save millions for the state taxpayers. Testimony will continue over the course of the next few legislative Interim meetings.
Please let us know what your experience may have been while working with a Construction Manager. It will help us to engage legislative members with real work experiences should the issue become a policy priority in 2018.
Pat McCune, OVCEC Lobbyist