Maryland's four largest jurisdictions have imposed their will on the other 19 by affording every community college a chance to be unionized. The 19 "other" counties strongly object to this bill.

Before the General Assembly passes any legislation, there should be a need, some reason to create a new law.


Yet the drafters of this legislation acknowledge there has been no request for such a bill from any individual or organization. There have been no complaints from individuals or organizations in any of the 19 jurisdictions that would be affected.

The Association of Community Colleges — which includes members from the four jurisdictions whose community colleges are unionized — also opposes the measure.

Delegates from county after county offered amendments requesting that their county be exempted from the bill. Again and again, the majority voted each amendment down.

Another amendment suggested that before a union could begin organizing on community college campuses, there be a public hearing so that parents, students and taxpayers as well as employees and administrators of the colleges could participate and learn more about the likely impact of union dues on student tuition, taxes and employee paychecks.

That amendment was voted down 81 to 50 by the Democratic majority.

For the last 100 years, the General Assembly has operated under the protocol of "local courtesy." That means, if an individual county wants to try something new or different in its jurisdiction, the legislature will approve the bill, regardless of how individual lawmakers may feel about its substance.

The right to unionize their local community colleges was given to each of the four largest jurisdictions — Baltimore City and Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore counties — in four separate local "delegation" bills. We gave them what is called "local courtesy."

Now those four jurisdictions want to impose their local decisions onto the rest of the state against the wishes of all 19 other counties. That's not local courtesy. That's tyranny of the majority.

Trent Kittleman, West Friendship

The writer, a Republican, represents parts of Howard and Carroll counties in the Maryland House of Delegates.