PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP NEEDED FOR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICE WORKERS
Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 980) which would create new federally protected labor rights for state and local police, fire and emergency medical technicians:
"I am committed to maintaining cooperation between public safety employers and their employees. This legislation allows rank-and-file workers to provide input into the most efficient methods of providing services while protecting their rights as employees.
"Over the years, Congress has expanded the scope of collective bargaining laws to protect various employee groups in the private and public sector. Unfortunately, one of the few groups not covered by federal law is pubic safety employees.
"Fire and police departments will benefit immeasurably from productive partnerships between employees and employers. This legislation grants public safety officers minimum collective bargaining rights in states that currently don't have them. Our first responders definitely deserve the same right to discuss workplace issues with their employer that the federal government already grants to most employees. This is the least that we can do for the brave men and women who keep our local community and homeland safe and I am proud to cosponsor this important legislation."
It is important to note that H.R. 890 would prohibit any public safety employer from engaging in a lockout of public safety officials. Further, it would prohibit public safety officers from engaging in a strike against their public employer and would ban labor organizations from calling for such a strike.