Congress Proposes Collective Bargaining for Public Safety Workers

Source: Charles Wheatley, Local Government Law News, Spring 2008

A bill in the current Congress, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 (H.R. 980), would provide collective bargaining rights for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel in state and local governments that do not already provide such rights. The legislation has three primary objectives: it requires public safety employers to recognize public safety employee labor organizations freely chosen by a majority of the employees; it compels public employers to bargain with the labor organization once recognized; and it requires that, if any agreements are made, they be committed to a contract or memorandum of understanding.

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