Wyoming Fire Fighters Defeat Anti-Binding Arbitration
February 18, 2014 – Collective bargaining for fire fighters remains safe thanks to the quick actions by the Federated Fire Fighters of Wyoming (FFFWY).
The Wyoming state legislature, while in the middle of a 20-day budget session, introduced HB 142, which, if passed, would have eliminated binding arbitration for fire fighters.
“Our members are the only public employees in the state who have collective bargaining, so we have to be prepared to be on the defensive,” says FFFWY President Joe Fender. “With assistance from the IAFF, the Wyoming state AFL-CIO and other labor groups, we were able to kill this legislation quickly.”
During a budget session, a bill unrelated to the budget needs a two-thirds majority vote to be heard. Wyoming fire fighters needed to secure 21 “nay” votes to kill it – and got 28.
The support of state Representative Lee Filer (D) was crucial to stopping the bill. If HB 142 had secured enough votes to be heard, it would have gone to the House Labor, Health and Social Service Committee where Filer is a member. Filer secured enough committee votes against HB 142 to prevent it from to the House floor for consideration. This was enough to convince even one of the bill’s co-sponsors (also the committee chair) to be one of the “nay” votes.
On the day of the vote, 20 FFFWY members became a convincing presence in the state House as Representative Glenn Moniz, a retired member of Laramie Local 946, spoke in favor of voting down the bill.