The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that calls on public employees who don't join their union to pay the union an agency fee for representing them in collective bargaining.
The bill would affect teachers, state and municipal employees whose pay and working conditions are negotiated by unions. If the employee doesn't join the union and pay dues, he or she would be required to pay 85 percent of what members pay in dues.
The Senate voted 26-3 to support a committee's version of the bill and then advanced it on a voice vote. It will be up for final approval next week.
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