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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sen. Baldwin introduces legislation to strengthen labor protections for public safety workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today introduced legislation that protects collective bargaining rights for police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel. A bipartisan House version of this legislation was introduced earlier this year.
“Our police officers, firefighters and EMS workers are on the front lines every day working to keep our residents safe, protect our neighborhoods and create safer communities for all. They deserve the same essential labor protections that so many other Americans enjoy – the right to form and join unions and the right to collectively bargain,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation is about doing right by our public safety officers and making sure that while they are protecting our families and children, we are preserving their right to workplace protections.”
The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act ensures specific baseline rights for first responders, including the right to form and join a union organization that is recognized by an employer, to bargain over hours, wages and terms of conditions of employment, and to prioritize the enforcement of all rights and responsibilities agreed to between an employer and labor organization.
The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) which administers the labor-management program for federal workers, will be designated with managing the implementation of the legislation.
While many police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel reside in jurisdictions where these rights are provided, many still go without required workplace protections. Providing employers and their workers with a framework to define benefits and solve disputes is necessary to ensure a productive workforce and a safe working environment.
This legislation is supported by Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin (PFFW), Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA), Milwaukee Police Association, Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), International Union of Police Association (IUAP), United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), and CWA.
More information about the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.

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