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RBC I Scott McInnis, executive director of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC), said the organization supports Governor John Hickenlooper in his opposition to a bill that would mandate unionization and collective bargaining for firefighters across the state. McInnis said that the AGNC shares the governor’s concerns that the bill would interfere with the rights of local governments and disregard the will of voters.
“We are pleased that Governor Hickenlooper agrees with our member communities that this bill, if it became law, would be an unnecessary and unreasonable intrusion into the affairs of local jurisdictions,” said McInnis. “It is an unfunded mandate which the state has no business issuing.”
Senate Bill 13-025 would establish unionization of firefighters throughout the state and obligate local governments to enter into collective bargaining with those unions. Under current law, firefighters are not prohibited from unionizing, although currently the decision is left to local voters. In some communities, such as Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, the voters have overwhelmingly rejected collective bargaining for firefighters, and McInnis says this bill is simply a way to circumvent their expressed wishes.
“Right now, it is up to the citizens of a given community whether they want to allow their firefighters to unionize or not, as it should be” said McInnis. “Like the governor said, this is a matter between a local community and their employees and not one where the state should be getting involved.”
For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Scott McInnis at 970-625-1723.