Executive Director Dennis Hallion (NJ) Ret
Vice President Joe Biden Attorney General Eric Holder
NLEOMF CEO Craig Floyd NLEOMF Executive Board
Congressman Greg Walden (OR) At Police Week Candlelight Vigil: Jack Moretti
and Brad Card (NY), Tom Mungeer (NY) , Mat Hodapp (MN),
Senator Susan Collins (Maine)
As I observed in the 111th Congress, the failure of that Congress to enact the Public Safety Officers Bill (Employer - Employee Cooperation Act of 2009), I could not help but believe that not only were our brother states not going to receive the benefit of being able to secure a foundation for collective bargaining, but that we in collective bargaining states, were in jeopardy of losing this sacred institution.
So we see a shift to principles espoused by the Republican party and so-called Tea Partiers. It appears that the only mantra that the Republicans can chant is “unions must be busted”.
This was evidenced in my visit to Columbus, Ohio, during February, 2011, to watch, assist, and support not only the Ohio State Patrol Association and Coalition, but all the labor groups that were gathered to oppose Senate Bill 5. This Bill, like many others across this country, is aimed at gutting the bargaining rights of unions. And like many others, when there is a Republican Governor and both Houses are Republican owned, there is no room for concession. These Bills go directly for the “jugular”, a decimation of all collective bargaining rights in one fell swoop without a shred of any attempt to negotiate our way through many of these fiscal dilemmas.
I am not inferring that the Republicans have the monopoly on union busting, but from observation of current movement, they are dominating the field.
We move to Madison, Wisconsin, “the eye of the beast” where I visited during the heyday during March, 2011. Although the Police and Fire organizations were carved out of this Bill, the same philosophy of union busting exists and this rhetoric was used that resulted in the signing of a similar union busting Bill into law. And do not believe that for a second that in months to come, that the public safety groups will not be attacked and forced into the same Right to Work group. And again a pattern of non-negotiation exists. Clearly, the extent that this Bill was fast tracked shown that the normal legal protocols that come with a Committee vote were circumvented. An ”end around” was utilized to pass the legislation. The so-called removal of the “fiscal impact” items of the Bill allowed the hasty push of this Bill through Committee. If the Committee was so willing to remove fiscal implications, then why not call the fourteen Democrats who were boycotting the mad push, back in for additional talks.
We do not want another Toledo, Ohio. We do not want to watch another city burn to the ground due to striking members of police or fire departments. Binding arbitration has cured that ill.
Unions have existed throughout this country and have provided sustainability to a monitored work force. The Unions have the self-imposed responsibility of being the watchdogs for its own. If our members step out of line, we are not only responsible, but we must supply the remedy. It is what we do to insure cohesiveness with management.
Without collective bargaining, the level playing field is not only lopsided, we do not even get to play.
Dennis Hallion, Executive Director
National Troopers Coalition