Senator Ted Kennedy has passed away. The Senator, otherwise known as the Liberal Lion, died in his home after battling brain cancer.
Kennedy is a long time friend of firefighters across the Nation. His fight for IAFF Firefighters National Collective Bargaining Bill almost got the Bill passed last year. His death comes just weeks after National Collective Bargaining Bill was reintroduced into Congress. Kennedy is a Sponsor of the Bill that could effect thousands of firefighters across the U.S.
BOSTON – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate and haunted bearer of the Camelot torch after two of his brothers fell to assassins’ bullets, has died at his home in Hyannis Port after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.
In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more. Read More
The IAFF, which has been fighting for National Collective Bargaining for years, has relied on Senator Kennedy’s backbone to fight for the rights of firefighters. While many firefighters enjoy collective bargaining, those in Right To Work States do not. Firefighters in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida either have no rights to bargain or afforded the opportunity by their localities (although there are no guarantees the localities will change their stance).
The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, legislation granting fire fighters and police officers minimum collective bargaining rights by establishing minimum standards for state collective bargaining laws, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Dale Kildee (D-MI) and John Duncan (R-TN) as H.R. 413, and in the Senate by Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) as S. 1611. Read More
The loss of Senator Kennedy will make this fight that much more difficult. Firefighters across the Nation need to join together and start speaking with their Senators for their support.
The bill is currently sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine senators. In addition to Gregg and Kennedy, other sponsors include Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Mike Johanns (R-NE).
The reintroduction of the bill brings the IAFF one step closer to guaranteeing that every fire fighter in the nation has the right to bargain collectively. For more than a decade, the IAFF’s chief legislative priority has been to enact legislation guaranteeing collective bargaining rights for professional fire fighters nationwide. IAFF affiliates across the country – in collective bargaining and non-collective bargaining states alike – have worked tirelessly as part of this unprecedented grassroots effort. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle have responded with unparalleled support year after year. Read More