- Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007
Infobox U.S. legislation
titlename=Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007
fullname=To provide collective bargaining rights for public safety officers employed by States or their political subdivisions.
acronym=Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007
United States House of Representatives
introducedby=Dale Kildee (D-MI) and John Duncan (R-TN)
committees=Committee on Education and Labor
July 17, 2007
amendments=The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007, [ [http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_HR_980.html "H.R. 980, The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007,"] "WashingtonWatch.com", Accessed July 6, 2007.] (USBill|110|H.R.|980, USBill|110|S.|2123) would establish minimum standards for state collective bargaining laws for public safety officers.
The bill would ensure: [ [http://www.iaff.org/politics/legislative/Bargainfactsheet.htm "Collective bargaining - legislative fact sheet,"] "
International Association of Fire Fighters", Accessed July 6, 2007.] [ [http://firechief.com/leadership/management-administration/collective-bargaining062107/ "Public Safety Workers Closer to Collective Bargaining,"] "Fire Chief", June 21, 2007. Accessed July 31, 2007.]
* The right to join a union and have the union recognized by the employer
* The right of public safety officers to bargain over wages, hours, and working conditions
dispute resolutionmechanism, such as fact finding or mediation
* Enforcement of contracts through state courts
Although the Act would allow the parties to seek mediation to resolve their differences, it would not force employers into binding arbitration.Kirstin Downey, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/31/AR2007073101544.html "Va. Has Big Stake in Bill on Public Safety Unions,"] "
The Washington Post", August 1, 2007. Accessed August 2, 2007.]
Federal Labor Relations Authorityshall, within 180 days of enactment, make a determination as to whether a State substantially provides for the rights and responsibilities described in the Act.
Federal Labor Relations Authorityshall have the authority to:
* Determine the appropriateness of units for labor organization representation
* Supervise or conduct elections to determine whether a labor organization has been selected as an exclusive representative by a voting majority of the employees
* Resolve issues relating to the duty to bargain in
* Conduct hearings and resolve complaints of unfair labor practices
* Resolve exceptions to the awards of arbitrators
* Protect the right of each employee to form, join, or assist any labor organization, or to refrain from any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and protect each employee in the exercise of such right
* Take such other actions as are necessary and appropriate to effectively administer the Act
Strikes and lockouts are prohibited by the Act.
Previous versions of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act narrowly missed a 60-vote
supermajority(required for cloture) in the U.S. Senate. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9B05E4DA1039F934A35752C1A9679C8B63 "Municipal Unions Lose Senate Battle,"] " The New York Times", November 7, 2001. Accessed July 6, 2007.] [ [http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/us_mayor_newspaper/documents/06_03_02/firefighters.asp "Firefighters Close to Gaining Senate Vote on Collective Bargaining Bill,"] " U.S. Conference of Mayors", June 3, 2002. Accessed July 6, 2007.]
The House Committee on Labor and Education approved the legislation on June 20, 2007 with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 42-1. [ [http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/edlabor_dem/rel062007c.html "House Labor Committee Approves Bill to Extend Collective Bargaining Rights to Public Safety Workers in all 50 States,"] Press release from the "
United States House Committee on Education and Labor", June 20, 2007. Accessed July 29, 2007.]
The bill passed the full
U.S. House of Representatives314-97 (with 20 not voting) on July 17, 2007. [ [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/110/house/1/votes/633/ 110th Congress / House / 1st session / Vote 633,"] " Washington Post", July 25, 2007.]
On October 1, 2007, the Senate version of the bill (S.2123) was introduced by Senators
Judd Gregg(R-NH) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) with 10 Republican cosponsors. However, on December 14, 2007, the Act was offered and later withdrawn as an amendment to the 2007 U.S. Farm Billwith opposition led by Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Mike Enzi(R-WY). [ [http://www.iaff.org/07News/121407CBBillDerailed.htm "Anti-Labor Senators Derail Fire Fighter Bargaining Bill,"] " International Association of Fire Fighters", Accessed January 14, 2008.]
On May 14, 2008, the Senate held a procedural vote to begin debate on the bill.Straub N, [http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2008/05/15/news/wyoming/doc482c8ca1bdc0e685552007.txt "Enzi vs. Kennedy: Senators part ways over bill for public safety labor unions,"] "Star-Tribune", May 15, 2008. Accessed May 16, 2008.] While the 69-29 tally seemed to indicate the bill would pass the Senate by a veto-proof margin, Senate Democrats dropped the bill May 15, 2008 after Republicans complained they didn't have enough time to offer amendments. [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ju5Oatt6tDMN89Xp73CyToBh8hMgD90MD7B80 "Democrats drop first-responder bill,"] "The Associated Press", May 15, 2008. Accessed May 16, 2008.] Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reidsaid he did not have enough votes to force final consideration of the bill. According to a press release by the IAFF, Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC) introduced a non-germane motion to attach Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) GI Bill of Rights to S.2123. The press release refers to the motion as "a move designed both to sidetrack debate on the bill and boost the candidacy of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain." [ [http://www.iaff.org/08News/051608CB.htm "Collective Bargaining Bill Delayed By Partisanship,"] "International Association of Fire Fighters", May 16, 2008. Accessed May 16, 2008.] The maneuvering prompted angry rebuke from Senator Kennedy on the Senate floor. "We have seen this parliamentary gimmick that has taken place offered by the Republican leadership that is a slap in the face to every firefighter and police officer and first responder in the country." [http://thinkprogress.org/2008/05/14/republicans-block-gi-bill/ "GOP Uses GI Bill As A ‘Political Gimmick’ On Senate Floor To Thwart Passage Of First Responder Legislation,"] "Think Progress", Accessed May 17, 2008.] Kennedy also questioned whether or not John McCain approved the Republican's strategy. In spite of the apparent discord, Senator Reid has indicated that the bill is not dead and that Democrats and Republicans will be able to work out a bipartisan deal on how to handle amendments. [ [http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=cqmidday-000002877738 "Senators Seek Deal on Bargaining Rights for First Responders,"] "CQ Politics", May 16, 2008. Accessed May 17, 2008.]
The bill is a top legislative priority of the
International Association of Fire Fightersand Fraternal Order of Police. [http://www.iaff.org/politics/legislative/Bargain.htm "Collective Bargaining,"] " International Association of Fire Fighters", Accessed January 14, 2008.] [Kevin O'Connor, [http://www.iaff.org/07News/PDF/CBTestimony.pdf "Statement of Mr. Kevin O'Connor, Assistant to the General President, International Association of Fire Fighters, on H.R. 980 the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act,"] testimony to the " United States House Committee on Education and Labor" posted at the " International Association of Fire Fighters", Accessed July 30, 2007.] [ [http://www.grandlodgefop.org/servlet/display/news_article?id=520&XSL=xsl_pages%2fpublic_news_individual.xsl&nocache=18175544 "FOP's Collective Bargaining Bill Passes House!"] Press release from the " Fraternal Order of Police", July 17, 2007. Accessed July 29, 2007.] The bill is also supported by the National Association of Police Organizations and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. [ [http://www.napo.org/legislative-update/6_20_07Passed_Committee.htm "House Passes Public Safety Collective Bargaining Bill,"] "NAPO Official Website", Accessed September 10, 2007.] [ [http://www.afscme.org/legislation-politics/15941.cfm "AFSCME Provides Support for Collective Bargaining for Public Safety Officers,"] Statement for the record on behalf of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees before the subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, on the Public Safety Officers Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, H.R. 980, June 5, 2007; "AFSCME Official Website", Accessed September 10, 2007.]
National League of Cities, the National Sheriffs' Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Counties, the National Right to Work Committee, the National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights, the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association are lobbying against the bill. [ [http://www.oml.org/npps/story.cfm?ID=876 "House Approves Public Safety Collective Bargaining Bill,"] "Oklahoma Municipal League Official Website", Accessed July 28, 2007.] [ [http://www.nrtwc.org/nl/nl200707p7.pdf "Committee Asks for White House Veto Pledge,"] "National Right to Work Committee Official Website", Accessed July 28, 2007.] [ [http://www.npelra.org/news/HR980.pdf "House Approves Bill to Require Collective Bargaining For State and Local Public Safety Employees,"] "National Public Employer Labor Relations Association", Accessed July 30, 2007.] [Neil E. Reichenberg, [http://www.ipma-hr.org/pdf/Testimony.pdf "Statement on the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act H.R. 980,"] "International Public Management Association for Human Resources" posted by the " United States House Committee on Education and Labor", Accessed July 30, 2007.] [ [http://www.http://www.freeworkplace.org/legislativeupdate/hr980letter.php "Group letter against H.R. 980,"] " National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights", July 16, 2007. Accessed November 7, 2007.] The Heritage Foundationhas been particularly critical, and claims that the bill is part of an attack on volunteer fire departments. [James Sherk, [http://www.chieftain.com/editorial/1191662262/3 "Congress may turn up heat on volunteer firemen,"] " The Pueblo Chieftain", October 6, 2007. Accessed October 12, 2007.] However, The National Volunteer Fire Council wrote an article published in Fire Engineering magazine explaining how the NVFC worked diligently with Senate staff to include language in the Senate version of the bill that protects the right of career firefighters to volunteer during off-duty hours. [ [http://www.fireengineering.com/display_article/309380/25/none/none/GOVMT/National-Volunteer-Fire-Council-on-article-regarding-collective-bargaining-legislatio "National Volunteer Fire Council on article regarding collective bargaining legislation,"] "Fire Engineering", Accessed January 14, 2008.]
Federal Labor Relations Authority
Department of Public Safety
* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.980.IH: Full text of H.R. 980] from "
The Library of Congress"
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_keyvote_member.php?cs_id=14443 How members voted] from "
Project Vote Smart"
* [http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/82xx/doc8277/hr980.pdf H.R. 980 Cost Estimate] from the "
Congressional Budget Office"
* [http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=503 "Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Safety Workers,"] "The Gavel" -
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's blog
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i-AXmBzOk4 Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 980)]
YouTubeVideo prepared by the House Committee on Education and Labor
* [http://www.heritage.org/Research/GovernmentReform/wm1537.cfm "The Public Safety Employer–Employee Cooperation Act Removes State Flexibility,"] "
The Heritage Foundation", July 6, 2007. Accessed July 25, 2007.
* [http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070706/EDITORIAL/107060007/1013 "A poor bargain,"] "
The Washington Times", July 6, 2007. Accessed July 25, 2007.
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