Last week the House passed the Public Safety Employer- Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413). The bill was attached to the Iraq/Afghanistan War Supplemental Appropriations legislation, (H.R. 4899), and may be considered in the Senate as early as next week.
The bill mandates that state and local governments enter into collective bargaining agreements with their public safety employees and provides minimum collective bargaining standards for state and local police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians personnel. The legislation has serious fiscal and administrative implications on counties because no funding is provided for state or local implementation.
Under H.R. 413, every state’s laws must at a minimum provide the following bargaining rights to public safety employees:
- grant public safety officers the right to form and join a labor organization that is, or seeks to be, recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees.
- require public safety employers to recognize the employees’ labor organization and agree to bargain with the union.
- provide for bargaining over hours, wages and terms and conditions of employment, and
- require enforcement through state courts of all rights, responsibilities and protections provided by state law.
NACo has released an “action alert” requesting that you contact your Senators and urge them to oppose adding the provisions of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act onto the Supplemental Appropriations Bill or any other piece of legislation. Click here to contact your Senators.