The State Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would remove binding arbitration in collective bargaining cases between cities and firefighters. That is when an arbitrator rules on a dispute and both sides must accept the decision.
Republican Dave Kinskey, the former Mayor of Sheridan, says his community has too often been forced to live with the ruling of an arbitrator who lives out of state.
He says non-binding arbitration would lead to quicker negotiations and return accountability to local government.
Democrat John Hastert of Green River opposes the bill and says binding arbitration is successful across the state.
“I think before this legislature goes on record against the firefighters that we should have compelling evidence to that fact that this doesn’t work. We don’t have that.”
Hastert says statistics show that Wyoming firefighters are among the lowest paid in the country. The bill will be debated two more times.