Collective Bargaining Bill Moves Forward

By Bomberg, Neil | Nation's Cities Weekly, June 25, 2007 | Go to article overview

Collective Bargaining Bill Moves Forward


Bomberg, Neil, Nation's Cities Weekly


On Wednesday, June 20, H.R. 980, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007, sailed through the House Committee on Education and Labor by a vote of 42 to 1. The committee will now draft a report and send the bill to the floor for consideration by the full House. The bill, which has 271 co-sponsors, seems to be guaranteed passage in the House when it is brought to the floor.

The bill would require that every state and local government enter into a collective bargaining relationship with their police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians and would place all oversight with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FRLA).

The FLRA would be responsible for issuing rules that would ensure that "first responders" have the right to form collective bargaining units and enter into collective bargaining agreements with their employers.

The FLRA could issue compliance requirements for cities, and if the FLRA believed that the city did not comply, seek injunctive relief and resolution through the courts.

In a letter to Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (D-Calif.) and Ranking Minority Member Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) and distributed to all committee members, NLC wrote, "It has long been the position of the NLC that the federal government should not undermine municipal autonomy with respect to making fundamental employment decisions by mandating specific working conditions, including collective bargaining. In light of the labor protections provided by state laws, labor agreements, city government civil service system and municipal personnel procedures, NLC opposes federal legislation that would single out a class of municipal employees for additional protections like those proposed in H. …

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