ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The House of Delegates has approved a bill to allow independent home health care providers to engage in collective bargaining with state agencies.

The bill backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley passed the House on 94-43 vote Saturday.

There are about 4,100 independent home health care providers who participate in state programs. About 1,500 belong to a bargaining unit.

The bill specifies that a future collective bargaining agreement may allow an exclusive representative to receive service fees from independent home care providers who are not members.

Last year, the O’Malley administration successfully pushed through a bill granting collective bargaining rights for day care providers who contract with the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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