Collective Bargaining by Firefighters, has come to the 2013 Colorado State legislative session in the form of SENATE BILL 13-025.
The proposed legislation is sponsored by Sen. Lois Tochtrop. (D-Thornton) The content and context of the bill is something that Colorado labor unions have long pushed for. The bill would allow collective bargaining for firefighters without a local government approving it.
According to Mike Rogers, President of the Colorado chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters, “Senate Bill 25 is important in allowing Colorado Firefighters to obtain vital resources for protecting their communities and ensuring they are fairly compensated.”
Interesting to note that the bill is all about the firefighters and not about protecting the public. Currently there are 44 unions active in the State of Colorado. Looking at the unions represented, the one that appears to be closely related is, SPFPA – International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America. Also on the Colorado Union list is the, BCTGMI – The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. We all know how well that worked out for the 18,500 union members who lost their jobs.
According to the Senate Bill 13-025 summary -
The bill grants firefighters the right to:
Organize, form, join, or assist an employee organization or
refrain from doing so;
Negotiate collectively or express a grievance through
representatives of their choice;
Engage in other lawful concerted activity for the purpose
of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection;
Be represented by their exclusive representative without
Senate Bill 13-025 has been moving right along in the current legislative session.
01/09/2013 Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology
01/23/2013 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
Colorado Senate Bill 13-025 is strongly opposed by local governments that don’t want the state overstepping local ordinances and potentially affecting their budgetary decisions.