The Colorado FOP Labor Council has been operational for over five years. More and more lodges in Colorado are realizing that they need the services, expertise and resources of the Labor Council to properly serve their members on complex workplace issues and violations of employees rights.
The Labor Council was established in January 2008 to address the ever increasing demand for expertise and assistance on workplace labor issues that traditional unions commonly provide their members. Members increasingly viewed their FOP membership as more than just Legal Defense, and looked toward the FOP for services involving terms and conditions of employment. The State FOP simply did not have the resources or the dues structure to properly serve its membership in that area. Most local lodges did not have the expertise or resources to deal with those complex issues. It was also recognized that eventual passage of bargaining legislation at either the National or State level would result in the need to provide labor training and contract negotiation services to a large portion of the membership. To fill that demand the Labor Council was established.
Most member lodges use Labor Council services. Some more than others; but there are a couple of lodges that have never used the services their Labor Council membership brings. This letter is a reminder to all of the services available from Labor Council membership. Only member lodges in good standing of the Labor Council receive these benefits.
Many lodges around the state, both Labor Council member and non-member alike, view the Labor Council as a primary service providing collective bargaining, contract negotiations, grievance processing, arbitration, and contract enforcement. Although that is a major service for our Lodges that bargain the fact is most of the issues we deal with, and where many workplace labor problems happen, is in lodges that do not have negotiated contracts or bargaining rights in place. The majority of lodges in the Labor Council currently do not collectively bargain. However, those lodges tend to have more labor issues and make up a large portion of the work done by the Labor Council. In fact we spend far more time and resources dealing with workplace problems and violations of law in non-labor lodges than we do in those that have negotiated contracts.
In cities where an FOP Lodge has a negotiated contract in place we see very few violations of the negotiated agreement. And when violations do occur there is a grievance process in place to deal with them. However, the majority of Labor Council member lodges do not have bargaining or negotiated contracts. In those work environments many workers’ rights fall back on federal and state legislation providing specific standards and protections; or on local code, ordinance, or charter provisions extending certain workplace standards, protections and rights to the employees.
Hardly a week goes by when we are not fielding questions or providing assistance, opinion, or advice on labor issues and basic workers’ rights. A major portion of the work we do involves violations or alleged violations concerning federal and state laws governing the FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act), Employment Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Workman’s Compensation. Non-bargaining Lodges find it difficult to address these possible violations involving workers rights. They simply do not have the expertise or resources to answer member complaints involving FLSA, EEO, or Workmen’s’ Comp rules and provisions. The leadership of those lodges rely on their membership in the Labor Council to address those concerns and possible violations, and take the necessary action when violations have occurred.
That is the primary reason most lodges hold membership in the Labor Council. Lodges rely on that membership as a service to their membership in addressing possible violations of statutory rights. In addition to the primary service the Labor Council assists member lodges in local political action and developing positive relationships with City Council members and County Commissioners. The Labor Council will also assist in writing Charter Amendments, Ordinances, and County Code granting collective bargaining and lobbying local government to adopt such legislation. We will assist and give expertise to member lodges in petition drives and local elections to obtain bargaining rights.
The Labor Council uses four law firms that have established expertise in all services we provide. I have listed those law firms below along with the expertise they bring:
McCauley & Roach LLC
- Collective Bargaining Negotiations
- Failure to comply with established city & county Policies & Procedures and/or Ordinances, Codes, and Charter Procedures concerning wages, benefits, and working conditions.
- Failure to comply or adhere to applicable State and Federal law governing wages, benefits, and working conditions. Including FLSA rules violations.
Fogel Keating Wagner Polidori Shafner, P.C.
Elkus & Sisson, P.C.
- Violations of State Personnel Rules
- State Personnel System Grievances
- Sexual Harassment on the job.
- Wrongful Termination & Retaliatory actions against Leadership for lawfully promoting labor rights or organizing
Bruno, Colin, Jewell & Lowe, P.C.
- Legislative Drafting at State, County, and Municipal levels
- Wrongful termination or harassment for lawfully promoting labor standards in the workplace or organizing