(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 the same as compensation and conditions of employment prevailing
in comparable private sector employment.
(b) The policy of this state is that fire fighters and police officers, like employees
in the private sector, should have the right to organize for collective bargaining,
as collective bargaining is a fair and practical method for determining compensation
and other conditions of employment. Denying fire fighters and police officers the right to organize and bargain collectively
would lead to strife and unrest, consequently injuring the health, safety, and welfare
of the public.
(c) The health, safety, and welfare of the public demands that strikes, lockouts,
and work stoppages and slowdowns of fire fighters and police officers be prohibited,
and therefore it is the state's duty to make available reasonable alternatives to
strikes by fire fighters and police officers.
(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.
(e) With the right to strike prohibited, to maintain the high morale of fire fighters
and police officers and the efficient operation of the departments in which they serve,
alternative procedures must be expeditious, effective, and binding.
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