Virginia Coalition of Police
and Deputy Sheriffs




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National Collective Bargaining Bill
H.R. 980


Police Officers and Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect the public; they deserve the same right to discuss workplace issues with their employer that the federal government grants to most other workers.

Legislation granting police officers and fire fighters minimum collective bargaining rights was recently introduced in the House by Representatives Dale Kildee (D-MI) and John Duncan (R-TN) as H.R. 980, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, and will soon be reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA).  The bills establish minimum standards for state collective bargaining laws. 

On July 17, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass H.R. 980.  To read more, click here:  House Passes Collective Bargaining Bill

See how your Representative voted on H.R. 980:  Collective Bargaining Vote

H.R. 980 is featured on YouTube - watch the video here:  Collective Bargaining Video

To read a copy of H.R. 980, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, click here:  Cooperation Act

For more information about collective bargaining rights and current congressional action, click here:  Fact Sheet

Learn more about the importance of collective bargaining rights for public safety officers:  Key Points

View a list of members who cosponsored H.R. 980:  Cosponsors House

Click on the Map to see how the representatives voted.
or click on the link below.


H.R. 980: What it Does and Does Not Do

The Collective Bargaining bill H.R. 980, which passed the House of Representatives on July 17th, was originally sponsored by Congressmen Dale Kildee (D-MI) and John Duncan (R-TN).

What It Does:

The ďPublic Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007" provides collective bargaining rights for law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. It provides that public safety officers can create and join labor organizations selected by a majority vote of the affected employees in their department to be their bargaining agents. It mandates that public safety employers recognize and bargain with the elected labor organization over matters of wages, hours and terms and conditions of their employment. It further provides a conflict resolution be adopted to mediate disputes arising from the negotiations. It allows the written agreement to be enforceable through the State courts.

What It Doesn't Do:

H.R. 980 Does Not:


bulletallow for strikes, sickouts, slowdowns or lockouts
bulletprovide binding arbitration
bulletinvalidate any election-held, bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding which has already been approved and ratified
bulletinvalidate any state laws which meet or exceed these minimum standards
bulletinterfere with any stateís right to work laws


Upon enactment, the Federal Labor Relations Authority will, within 180 days, make a determination of which states are not already in compliance with the Actís requirements. Within 18 months of that finding, the states must have enacted legislation which complies. States whose legislative bodies meet irregularly may be granted time extensions.

What is the Actís Current Status?:

On July 17, 2007, the Act passed the House of Representatives by a bi-partisan vote of 314-97. It was sent to the Senate. It is expected to be introduced in the Senate shortly after Labor Day. It is important that the Senate bill pass with a large margin so as not to attract a veto from the President, who has not yet indicated his support or opposition to the measure.

Other Considerations:

In those states, cities or counties that do not currently have collective bargaining, it is expected that national organizations will make a concerted effort to become the bargaining agents for those groups in order to increase their own membership and exposure.