Unions Peeved as Massachusetts House Votes to Limit Collective Bargaining

BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick is urging both sides to "dial down the rhetoric" over a plan to sharply limit the collective bargaining power of public employees over their health insurance.

Patrick said Wednesday it's important to pass a bill to ease the health care burden on communities while guaranteeing labor a seat at the table.

Union officials are furious at House Speaker Robert DeLeo after lawmakers backed the plan late Tuesday.

Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes said lawmakers passed the amendment "because the Speaker of the House made them."

The House voted 111-42 to approve the measure to dramatically strengthen the power of cities and towns to change public employee health plans.

DeLeo says the move could save municipalities $100 million a year that could go toward education and other services.