Bill Text: TX HB2895 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to collective bargaining and conditions of employment for fire fighters and police officers in certain political subdivisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-12 - Referred to Urban Affairs [HB2895 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB2895-Introduced.html
  86R8040 MP-F
 
  By: Collier H.B. No. 2895
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to collective bargaining and conditions of employment for
  fire fighters and police officers in certain political
  subdivisions.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Sections 174.002(a) and (d), Local Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The policy of this state is that a political subdivision
  shall provide its fire fighters and police officers with
  compensation and other conditions of employment that are
  substantially equal to [the same as] compensation and other
  conditions of employment that prevail [prevailing] in comparable
  fire and police departments [private sector employment].
         (d)  Because of the essential and emergency nature of the
  public service performed by fire fighters and police officers, a
  reasonable alternative to strikes is a system of arbitration
  conducted under adequate legislative standards. [Another
  reasonable alternative, if the parties fail to agree to arbitrate,
  is judicial enforcement of the requirements of this chapter
  regarding compensation and conditions of employment applicable to
  fire fighters and police officers.]
         SECTION 2.  Section 174.021, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.021.  COMPENSATION [PREVAILING WAGE] AND WORKING
  CONDITIONS REQUIRED. A political subdivision that employs fire
  fighters, police officers, or both, shall provide those employees
  with compensation and other conditions of employment that are[:
               [(1)]  substantially equal to compensation and other
  conditions of employment that prevail in comparable fire or police
  departments, as applicable [employment in the private sector; and
               [(2)     based on prevailing private sector compensation
  and conditions of employment in the labor market area in other jobs
  that require the same or similar skills, ability, and training and
  may be performed under the same or similar conditions].
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 174.153, Local Government
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.153.  BINDING INTEREST [REQUEST FOR] ARBITRATION
  REQUIRED [; AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE].
         SECTION 4.  Section 174.153, Local Government Code, is
  amended by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection
  (b-1) to read as follows:
         (a)  A public employer and [or] an association that is a
  bargaining agent shall submit to binding interest [may request the
  appointment of an] arbitration [board] if[:
               [(1)]  the parties:
               (1) [(A)]  reach an impasse in collective bargaining;
  or
               (2) [(B)]  are unable to settle after the 61st day
  after the date the appropriate lawmaking body fails to approve a
  contract reached through collective bargaining[;
               [(2)     the parties made every reasonable effort,
  including mediation, to settle the dispute through good-faith
  collective bargaining; and
               [(3)     the public employer or association gives written
  notice to the other party, specifying the issue in dispute].
         (b)  Each party shall send to the other party a written
  notice specifying each issue in dispute for purposes of binding [A
  request for] arbitration [must be made] not later than the fifth day
  after:
               (1)  the date an impasse was reached under Section
  174.152; [or]
               (2)  the expiration of an extension period under
  Section 174.152; or
               (3)  the expiration of the period described by
  Subsection (a)(2).
         (b-1)  A notice under Subsection (b) is considered sent on
  the date the notice is placed in the mail, personally delivered, or
  transmitted by e-mail or any other means of electronic transfer.
         SECTION 5.  The heading to Section 174.154, Local Government
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.154.  SELECTION OF ARBITRATOR [ARBITRATION BOARD].
         SECTION 6.  Section 174.154(a), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Not later than the fifth day after the date a party sends
  the notice required under Section 174.153, the public employer
  shall immediately request a list of seven qualified neutral
  arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association or the
  Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, or a successor in
  function.  The bargaining agent and the municipality, or their
  designees, may agree on one of the seven arbitrators on the list.  
  If the parties do not select an arbitrator before the sixth working
  day after the date the parties received the list, each party or the
  party's designee shall alternate striking a name from the list and
  the name remaining is the arbitrator [an agreement to arbitrate is
  executed, each party shall:
               [(1)  select one arbitrator; and
               [(2)     immediately notify the other party in writing of
  the name and address of the arbitrator selected].
         SECTION 7.  Section 174.155(a), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The [A presiding] arbitrator shall:
               (1)  call a hearing to be held not later than the 10th
  day after the date on which the [presiding] arbitrator is selected 
  [appointed]; and
               (2)  notify [the other arbitrators,] the public
  employer[,] and the association in writing of the time and place of
  the hearing, not later than the eighth day before the hearing.
         SECTION 8.  Section 174.156(b), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The arbitrator [An arbitration board] shall render an
  award in accordance with the requirements of Section 174.021. In
  settling disputes relating to compensation, hours, and other
  conditions of employment, the arbitrator [board] shall consider:
               (1)  hazards of employment;
               (2)  physical qualifications;
               (3)  educational qualifications;
               (4)  mental qualifications;
               (5)  job training;
               (6)  skills; and
               (7)  other factors.
         SECTION 9.  Section 174.157(b), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  An arbitrator [arbitration board] may:
               (1)  receive in evidence any documentary evidence or
  other information the arbitrator [board] considers relevant;
               (2)  administer oaths; and
               (3)  issue subpoenas to require:
                     (A)  the attendance and testimony of witnesses;
  and
                     (B)  the production of books, records, and other
  evidence relevant to an issue presented to the arbitrator [board]
  for determination.
         SECTION 10.  Sections 174.158(a) and (c), Local Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Not later than the 10th day after the end of the hearing,
  an arbitrator [arbitration board] shall:
               (1)  make written findings; and
               (2)  render a written award on the issues presented to
  the arbitrator [board].
         (c)  An increase in compensation awarded by an arbitrator
  [arbitration board] under this subchapter may take effect only at
  the beginning of the next fiscal year after the date of the award.
         SECTION 11.  Section 174.159, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.159.  EFFECT OF AWARD. If a [majority] decision of
  an arbitrator [arbitration board] is supported by competent,
  material, and substantial evidence on the whole record, the
  decision:
               (1)  is final and binding on the parties; and
               (2)  may be enforced by either party or the arbitrator
  [arbitration board] in a district court for the judicial district
  in which a majority of the affected employees reside.
         SECTION 12.  Section 174.161, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.161.  BEGINNING OF NEW FISCAL YEAR. If a new fiscal
  year begins after the initiation of arbitration procedures under
  this subchapter but before an award is rendered or enforced:
               (1)  the dispute is not moot;
               (2)  the jurisdiction of the arbitrator [arbitration
  board] is not impaired; and
               (3)  the arbitration award is not impaired.
         SECTION 13.  Section 174.162, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.162.  EXTENSION OF PERIOD. A period specified by
  Section 174.155 or 174.158 may be extended:
               (1)  by the written agreement of the parties for a
  reasonable period; or
               (2)  by the arbitrator [arbitration board] for good
  cause for one or more periods that in the aggregate do not exceed 20
  days.
         SECTION 14.  Section 174.164(c), Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The public employer and the association representing
  the employees shall jointly pay in even proportions:
               (1)  the compensation of the [neutral] arbitrator; and
               (2)  the stenographic and other expenses incurred by
  the arbitrator [arbitration board] in connection with the
  arbitration proceedings.
         SECTION 15.  Section 174.253, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 174.253.  JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ARBITRATION AWARD. (a) An
  award of an arbitrator [arbitration board] may be reviewed by a
  district court for the judicial district in which the municipality
  is located only on the grounds that:
               (1)  the arbitrator [arbitration board] was without
  jurisdiction;
               (2)  the arbitrator [arbitration board] exceeded the
  arbitrator's [its] jurisdiction;
               (3)  the order is not supported by competent, material,
  and substantial evidence on the whole record; or
               (4)  the order was obtained by fraud, collusion, or
  similar unlawful means.
         (b)  The pendency of a review proceeding does not
  automatically stay enforcement of the arbitrator's [arbitration
  board's] order.
         SECTION 16.  The following provisions of the Local
  Government Code are repealed:
               (1)  Section 174.153(c);
               (2)  Sections 174.154(b) and (c);
               (3)  Section 174.163;
               (4)  Sections 174.164(a) and (b); and
               (5)  Section 174.252.
         SECTION 17.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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