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Chavez-DeRemer backs bipartisan bill to let public safety officers form unions, collectively bargain


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) said Tuesday she is backing the bipartisan Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, which seeks to uphold labor rights for all public safety officers.

Specifically, this legislation will allow public safety officers to form a labor union, collectively bargain for hours and wages, and provide resolution mechanisms for impasses during negotiations.

“With fentanyl flooding our streets and homicides on the rise, I want to ensure public safety officers are empowered to establish fair, safe, and supportive working conditions. I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation, which would bolster labor rights for those who put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities,” Chavez-DeRemer said. 

The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act:

  • Provides state and local governments with the control to approve or disapprove of funding for a collectively bargained agreement;
  • Requires employers of public safety officers to recognize their employees' right to unionization and bargain;
  • Allows the Federal Labor Relations Board to force compliance within two years if the employing authority doesn't recognize these rights; and
  • Prohibits employees and their union representatives from going on strike or imposing lockouts to protect public safety.

The proposal is being led in the House by Reps. Pete Stauber (MN-08) and Dan Kildee (MI-08). Full text of the bill is available HERE.

Chavez-DeRemer recently helped introduce a bipartisan bill to lower the Medicare enrollment age for first responders to 57. Additionally, she has cosponsored several bipartisan bills to ensure law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders receive the benefits they deserve – including the Public Safety Retirees Healthcare Protection Act, the Law Enforcement Officer Fair Retirement Act, and the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act. She is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan and bicameral Protecting First Responders from Secondary Exposure Act, which would provide training to reduce first responders’ risk of secondary exposure to lethal substances like fentanyl.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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