Fairfax County, VA Local 2068 members and other county employees now have the right to collectively bargain. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 in favor of an ordinance granting those rights.
“Congratulations to our Local 2068 brothers and sisters on this tremendous victory,” says 4th District Vice President Andrew Pantelis. “I am proud of all of the tremendous effort you made to make this a reality. Now you will have your rightful seat at the table as decisions are made impacting your wages, benefits and working conditions.”
Collective bargaining had been banned in the state of Virginia since 1977 after the state Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF) and its affiliates pushed for years to bring it back.
Legislation that became effective May 2021, gives local governments the option to create ordinances recognizing their employees’ labor unions and allowing collective bargaining for public workers.
Local 2068 leaders and members testified before the Fairfax Board of Supervisors about the importance of collective bargaining and how it provides a vehicle for labor and management to effect positive change for the county and its residents. Their input led to the creation of the ordinance allowing for collective bargaining.
“This moment has been years in the making and so many great people have spent their time and energy to help us achieve collective bargaining rights,” says Local 2068 President Ron Kuley. “Collective Bargaining is our voice. Having that voice is the most important safety tool we have as it’s the key to our staffing, training, equipment, fair living wages and opportunity to retire with dignity.”
Prior to the passage of the ordinance, Local 2068 President Kuley says affiliate leaders made it a priority to maintain positive, working relationships with county decision makers so that Local 2068 membership concerns could be addressed. Now, with this ordinance, the decisions Local 2068 and Fairfax County make together about the future of fire and emergency medical service will be enforced by a contract.
Similar ordinances have also passed in the City of Alexandria and Arlington County.