Letter to Senators Kennedy and Gregg regarding the collective bargaining amendment


The Honorable Edward M. Kennedy
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Judd Gregg
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman and Senator Gregg,

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to thank you for all of your efforts to offer S. 2123, the "Public Employer-Employee Cooperation Act," as an amendment to H.R. 2419, the "Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act."

The passage of this legislation is one of the highest priorities for our organization and we have mobilized our grassroots members and asked them to contact their Senators to urge them to vote in favor of Senate Amendment 3830, which is being offered by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on behalf of both of you. We are very grateful for your continued commitment to public safety and to this legislation, and deeply appreciate both of your efforts to win consideration for this bill on the Senate floor as an amendment to H.R. 2419.

The aim of this legislation is simple and straightforward: it will recognize the fundamental right of public safety employees—primarily law enforcement officers and firefighters—to form and join unions and bargain collectively with their employers over wages, hours, and working conditions.

Public safety occupations are unique and their labor relations need to reflect that. This legislation will recognize these rights and do so without undermining existing State laws.

The men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect our streets and neighborhoods have a right to be involved in the decisions which affect their livelihoods and you have both worked diligently to help us secure that right. For this, and for your continued leadership and support of law enforcement, I sincerely thank you on behalf of the more than 325,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco at my Washington office.

Chuck Canterbury
National President