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Posted on: June 7, 2022

Firefighters Union Petitions County to Represent Eligible Fire and Rescue Employees

Image of firefighters with text about union petition

Loudoun County has received a petition from the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) seeking recognition as the exclusive bargaining agent for eligible members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System.

Loudoun Career Firefighters, IAFF Local 3756, has requested that an election be held and has submitted documentation that indicates that at least 30% of eligible Fire and Rescue employees have expressed interest in such an election. 

Under the county’s collective bargaining ordinance, Chapter 259 Labor Relations, the county’s labor relations administrator (LRA) must certify the validity of the petition before setting a date for an election. The ordinance also outlines procedures for other interested employee organizations to follow if they wish to intervene in the process.

The county’s collective bargaining ordinance, adopted in December 2021 (PDF), establishes three bargaining units: one for employees of the Combined Fire and Rescue System, a second for labor and trade employees, and a third for general county employees. Bargaining units are comprised of groups of employees who have common interests, such as employees who perform similar work or whose jobs require similar qualifications, skills and training. 

The Combined Fire and Rescue System bargaining unit consists of uniformed fire employees, including uniformed and civilian fire marshal employees and public safety communications employees. It does not include personnel at the rank of battalion chief or above.

The county is in the process of procuring contracted services for the LRA. The LRA will be responsible for implementing the collective bargaining ordinance, including supervising elections for certification of exclusive bargaining agents. While the LRA procurement process is conducted, the county and IAFF will make arrangements to use an interim LRA to carry out the requested election. The LRA serves as a formal neutral decision-maker with the authority to make binding decisions as allowed in the ordinance.

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