Summary: S.606 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (11/24/2003)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2003 - Provides collective bargaining rights for public safety officers employed by States or local governments.

(Sec. 2) Sets forth a declaration of U.S. policy regarding the need for: (1) labor-management cooperation in public safety agencies; (2) encouraging conciliation, mediation, and voluntary arbitration to help public safety employers and employees reach and maintain agreements concerning pay rates, hours, and working conditions, and to negotiate to settle differences by mutual agreement reached though collective bargaining or other methods provided in an agreement for dispute settlement; and (3) providing minimal standards for collective bargaining negotiations in the public safety sector.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to determine whether State law provides specified rights and responsibilities for public safety officers, including: (1) granting public safety employees the right to form and join a labor organization which excludes management and supervisory employees, and which is, or seeks to be, recognized as the exclusive bargaining agent for such employees; and (2) requiring public safety employers to recognize and agree to bargain with the employees' labor organization.

(Sec. 5) Requires the FLRA to issue regulations establishing collective bargaining procedures for public safety employers and employees in States that do not substantially provide for such public safety employee rights and responsibilities. Directs the FLRA, in such cases, to: (1) determine the appropriateness of units for labor organization representation; (2) supervise or conduct elections to determine whether a labor organization has been selected as an exclusive representative by a majority of the employees in an appropriate unit; (3) resolve issues relating to the duty to bargain in good faith; (4) conduct hearings and resolve complaints of unfair labor practices; and (5) resolve exceptions to arbitrator's awards. Grants a public safety employer, employee, or labor organization the right to seek enforcement of such FLRA regulations and authority through appropriate State courts.

(Sec. 6) Prohibits public safety employers, employees, and labor organizations from engaging in lockouts or strikes, or sick-outs, work slowdowns, or other actions designed to compel agreement to a proposed contract which will measurably disrupt the delivery of emergency services.

(Sec. 7) Provides that existing collective bargaining units and agreements shall not be invalidated by this Act.

(Sec. 8) Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to: (1) invalidate or limit the remedies, rights, and procedures of any State or local law that provides collective bargaining rights for public safety officers that are equal to or greater than the rights provided under this Act; (2) prevent a State from enforcing a right-to-work law that prohibits employers and labor organizations from negotiating provisions in a labor agreement that require union membership or payment of union fees as a condition of employment; (3) invalidate any State law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act that substantially provides for the rights and responsibilities specified by this Act solely because such State law permits employees to appear on their own behalf with respect to their employment relations with the public safety agency involved; (4) permit parties subject to the National Labor Relations Act and its regulations to negotiate provisions that would prohibit an employee from engaging in part-time employment or volunteer activities during off-duty hours; or (5) prohibit a State from exempting from coverage under this Act a local government that serves a population of less than 5,000 or that employs less than 25 full-time employees (not including individuals elected by popular vote or appointed to serve on a board or commission).

Prohibits any State from preempting local government laws or ordinances that provide collective bargaining rights for public safety officers that are equal to or greater than the rights provided under this Act.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations.