Collective Bargaining for Virginia Local Governments

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Effective May 1, 2021, Virginia law removed the prohibition for local governments to collectively bargain with their workforce through labor unions[i]. Local governments across the Commonwealth should carefully evaluate collective bargaining to determine if they should adopt an ordinance or resolution to address it.

Sands Anderson lawyers help public sector employers understand the complexities of collective bargaining. We serve as a trusted advisor and assist localities in developing the best approach to achieve their specific collective bargaining goals. With experience drafting ordinances and resolutions, evaluating policy options, and preparing responses to certifications, our lawyers understand how to guide local governments through the many facets of collective bargaining.

Our practice is augmented by a deep bench of employment lawyers and experienced labor practitioners who regularly work with counties, cities, towns, school boards, and other public entities across Virginia on all matters affecting local public governing bodies.

We have the experience and knowledge necessary to help public sector clients:

  • Understand how to administer the collective bargaining process
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of adopting a collective bargaining resolution or ordinance in their locality
  • Draft collective bargaining ordinances and resolutions
  • Respond to certifications from public employees seeking to collectively bargain
  • Administer the collective bargaining processes
  • Develop best practices to ensure localities are not infringing on “concerted activity,” first amendment and other rights
  • Appreciate the legal implications of various policies under consideration

Recent Speaking Engagements

In addition to conducting this work for local governments across Virginia, our lawyers are actively engaged in speaking on the new law and what localities should do to prepare. Some of our recent and upcoming presentations include:

  • Virginia School Boards Association, June 4, 2021: “Collective Bargaining” by Cynthia Hudson
  • Virginia School Boards Association, April 13, 2021: “Collective Bargaining Comes to Virginia” by Cynthia Hudson
  • LGA Spring Conference, March 26, 2021: “Public Sector Collective Bargaining: Virginia’s “New Frontier”” by Cynthia Hudson
  • VSBA Webinar, December 15, 2020: “Beyond Meet and Confer: Public Employee Collective Bargaining Comes to Virginia” by Cynthia Hudson
  • LGA Spring Conference, April 2020: “Collective Bargaining” by Cynthia Hudson

[i] See Va. Code § 40.1-57.2


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