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Firefighter union prevails

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By Carol A. Clark

A ruling came down Friday from First Judicial District Court in favor of the Los Alamos Firefighters’ Association and its right to collective bargaining for its membership.

Judge Daniel Sanchez found that Los Alamos County violated the Public Employees Bargaining Act (PEBA), by entering into contracts with individual union members that were subject to collective bargaining with the union.

The local union stated in a press release that PEBA mandates exclusive bargaining rights between unions and employers. In choosing to provide paramedic contracts directly to union members without first negotiating them through the union, the county disregarded its own ordinance in addition to state and federal, according to the union.

Los Alamos County Attorney Mary McInerny explained that Friday’s summary judgment, issued verbally by Sanchez, concerns a contract the county has with firefighters volunteering for paramedic school, a program the county has supported for 10 years.

“Fourteen firefighters have taken advantage of this specialized training opportunity and have successfully completed the school; only two of those firefighters have failed to fulfill the obligation set forth in the contract,” she said.


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