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Bill would recognize firefighter, EMS right to unionize

June 27, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire would recognize the right for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel to join a union and bargain for fair working conditions.

Many states, including New Hampshire, already have collective bargaining protections for emergency personnel, but federal law does not protect these workers. In 16 states, public safety employees cannot collectively bargain for safe working conditions. In five states, they are unable to unionize, Hassan said in a news release. Joining her in introducing the bill was U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, of Colorado, a fellow Democrat.

“Supporting our firefighters and EMS personnel— our frontline heroes— must include making sure that we protect their collective bargaining rights in every part of the country,” Hassan said. “Just as they have our backs during our hardest times, we need to have theirs.”

The International Association of Fire Fighters and Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire support the bill.