A Montgomery County judge on Tuesday struck down part of a collective bargaining law covering government employees.
It was latest — and clearest — signal from the courts that there is a fundamental disconnect at the center of laws governing relations between Montgomery and its workers.
Union leaders had argued that County Executive Isiah Leggett broke the law by disregarding the results of collective bargaining when he proposed a budget in March.
Leggett has maintained that he — not an arbitrator — has the discretion to propose a spending plan that is in the public interest. The county’s charter, generally considered its constitution, gives him that nearly unfettered authority, Leggett says.
Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin ruled Tuesday that a provision of the collective bargaining law requiring a county executive to include the results of arbitration in the executive’s recommended budget violates the charter.
“The requirements of the code are quote unquote unconstitutional,” Rubin said from the bench.
Lawyers for the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization, which represents thousands of Montgomery employees, said the union will appeal.
The council passed a $4.37 billion budget last month. The council has the final say.