Employee Relations 12/03/2010
Update on Federal Collective Bargaining Legislation
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was expected to introduce
a cloture vote this week on Senate Bill 3194, the Public Safety
Employee Cooperation Act (Act). A cloture vote essentially ends a
filibuster in the Senate. Cloture requires the votes of
three-fifths of the entire Senate membership. However, as
Senate Republicans have vowed to block action on all
legislation until some resolution is reached on the Bush-era
expiring tax cuts and the fiscal year 2011 budget, it is unclear
whether any action will occur on this bill by the end of the
S.3194 passed in the House in July, and includes language granting firefighters and police officers minimum collective bargaining rights by establishing minimum state standards for collective bargaining laws. If a state does not establish their own collective bargaining process, the Federal Labor Relations Authority would issue regulations to function as labor laws in that state. If a state is already in compliance, it would be exempt from further federal oversight. The minimum collective bargaining standards included in the Act are:
- The right of workers to form unions and bargain over wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.
- Requiring an impasse resolution mechanism (such as arbitration or mediation).
- The right of both parties to sign legally enforceable contracts.
CSAC sent a letter to Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer earlier this year opposing the bill; we will keep you apprised regarding the status of this legislation.