Title: Allowing Collective Bargaining for Public Safety Officers
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that requires the Federal Labor Relations Authority to enforce the ability of public safety officers to engage in collective bargaining.
Defines "public safety officer" as any law enforcement officer, firefighter, or member of emergency medical services personnel who is not a permanent supervisory, management or confidential employee (Sec. 3).
Defines "confidential employee" as any individual employed by a public safety employer who is designated as confidential and who routinely assists supervisory and management employees in a confidential capacity (Sec. 3).
Requires the Federal Labor Relations Authority to determine whether or not a state (Sec. 4):
Authorizes public safety officers to form and join a labor organization, which may exclude management employees, supervisory employees, and confidential employees;
Authorizes public safety officers to bargain over hours, wages, and the terms and conditions of employment;
Requires public safety employers to recognize and bargain with labor organizations, and to commit any resulting agreements to a written contract or memorandum of understanding;
Provides a method of dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration; and
Requires the enforcement of the above, either through a state administrative agency or through the state courts.
Requires the Federal Labor Relations Authority to consider the opinions of affected employers and labor organizations when determining whether or not state law is sufficient (Sec. 4).
Requires the Federal Labor Relations Authority to identify categories of public safety officers that are not covered by state law, in cases where state law is otherwise sufficient, and to enforce collective bargaining rights with regard to these categories of employees (Sec. 4).
Authorizes any person to challenge the determination of the Federal Labor Relations Authority by petitioning the United States Court of Appeals within 60 days of the date that the determination was made (Sec. 4).
Requires that if a State does not meet the responsibilities described by this Act the Federal Labor Relations Authority will begin to carry out these procedures on the latest of the following dates (Sec. 4):
2 years after the date the bill was enacted into law;
The last day of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the bill was enacted into law; or
The last day of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the date that the Authority issued a determination made subsequent to a previously-made determination.
Requires the Federal Labor Relations Authority to carry out the following procedures in states that it determines fail to provide for the above (Sec. 5):
Identify groups of employees that should be represented by a labor organization;
Conduct or supervise the election of a labor organization as the employee representative, and ensure that it has been selected by a voting majority of employees in each group;
Resolve issues relating to the duty to bargain in good faith;
Resolve complaints of unfair labor practices;
Resolve any exceptions to the awards of arbitrators;
Protect the ability of each employee to form, join, or assist a labor organization; and
Take any other actions deemed necessary and appropriate including, but not limited to, issuing subpoenas, examining witnesses, and taking depositions.
Authorizes the Federal Labor Relations Authority to petition the United States Court of Appeals to enforce the collective bargaining rights for public safety officers, and for any private individual to petition the court if the Authority has not already done so (Sec. 5).
Prohibits all employers, public safety officers, and labor organizations from striking or engaging in any other form of work stoppage that will disrupt the delivery of emergency services, as long as this prohibition does not preempt any related state or local law (Sec. 6).
Specifies that the bill will not invalidate any existing collective bargaining agreements (Sec. 7).
Prohibits the Federal Labor Relations Authority from applying its powers to any group of public safety officers who are deemed to already be sufficiently protected by state law (Sec. 8).
NOTE: THIS IS A VOTE TO INVOKE CLOTURE ON A MOTION TO PROCEED, WHICH SENDS THE LEGISLATION TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE FOR DEBATE AND AMENDMENT. A MOTION TO PROCEED ALONE REQUIRES A MAJORITY FOR APPROVAL. HOWEVER, THE MOTION CAN BE FILIBUSTERED, AND WHEN THIS OCCURS, A CLOTURE VOTE IS NECESSARY TO VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED. A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY OF THE SENATE IS NECESSARY TO INVOKE CLOTURE.