Arlington County Local 2800 a Step Closer to Collective Bargaining

July 23 • 2021

Arlington County, VA Local 2800 is formally requesting that Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz allow Local 2800 to be recognized as the exclusive bargaining unit for the county’s fire and EMS personnel.

“This is an historic time for Arlington,” says Local 2800 President Brian Lynch. “Until the new collective bargaining law was passed, Virginia fire fighters were denied a seat at the table on critical safety issues for fire fighters and the community. Soon we will be able to officially negotiate on these issues critically important to us.”

As outlined by Virginia’s new collective bargaining law effective May 21, 2021, the Arlington County Board members voted on July 17 in favor of an ordinance to allow collective bargaining for the county’s employees, including fire fighters.

Now, it is up to each union to gain approval to be the bargaining agent for their specific groups of employees.

Arlington County Local 2800 had to first show “administratively acceptable evidence” that the county’s fire fighters and emergency service personnel want the local to represent them during the collective bargaining process. Accordingly, Local 2800 provided a comprehensive list of individuals who have certified the organization to withdraw monthly membership fees from paychecks with the county.

“This list clearly shows we have the backing of the overwhelming majority of the bargaining unit members” says Lynch. “Collective bargaining is important to us, and we are ready to get started.”

Next, the county manager must give clearance for an election to take place for the county’s fire fighters and emergency service personnel to vote for or against allowing Local 2800 to be their sole barraging unit. On July 19, Local 2800 formally requested that the county manager take that step.

Once approved, Local 2800 will be able to bargain for a contract with the county.