FEDERALIZED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING BILL IS BACK

Previous issues of the TML Legislative Update have described the 2007 Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. That bill, H.R. 980, would have federalized state and local government labor-management relations by granting collective bargaining rights to all state and local public safety officers (law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel). H.R. 980 passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July of 2007 but did not come to a vote in the U.S. Senate before the end of the last congressional session. H.R. 980 is described in-depth in previous issues of the TML Legislative Update (July 27, 2007; October 25, 2007; and March 28, 2008).

On January 9, 2009, Representative Dale Kildee [D-MI] filed H.R. 413, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2009, in the United States House of Representatives. The full text of the filed bill is available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-413. The bill is almost identical to the 2007 bill. It includes a provision permitting a state to exempt from the bill’s requirements any political subdivision with less than 5,000 population or fewer than 25 full-time employees. However, one significant change is that the new bill would prohibit states and political subdivisions from regulating public safety employees’ off-duty, part-time employment or volunteer work in an agreement negotiated under the Act.

H.R. 413 has not yet come to a vote in the U.S. House. City officials are urged to contact their U.S. representatives to express their opposition to H.R. 413.

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Texas Municipal League.

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