The Wall Street Journal this morning discuses "The Senate's moving closer to passing legislation that would require states to grant public-safety employees, including police, firefighters and emergency medical workers, the right to collectively bargain over hours and wages."
There are three versions of the bill. ( HR 413 )( S 1611 ) and ( S 3194 )
"Known as the 'Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act,' the bill would mainly affect about 20 states that don't grant collective-bargaining rights statewide for public-safety workers or that prohibit such bargaining. State and municipal associations, as well as business groups, oppose it, saying it will lead to higher labor costs and taxes, at a time of budget deficits," the article says. "The bill, however, prohibits strikes and leaves to states' discretion whether to engage in collective bargaining in several areas, including health benefits and pensions."
The article also notes that "if the bill becomes law, state and municipal associations expect legal challenges, saying the legislation might violate states' constitutional rights… If the legislation passes and states choose not to grant the minimum collective-bargaining rights outlined in the bill, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees labor-management relations for federal employees, would step in and implement collective-bargaining rights for these workers."