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Thank you John Barrow for standing up for firefighters
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    I am writing to thank Congressman John Barrow for standing up for those of us who put our lives on the line to protect our communities and our nation.  
    Your recent article “City, county puzzled by pro-union bill” may have left readers with the idea that Congressman Barrow hadn’t considered what is in the best interest of Georgia’s 12th District when he voted for the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. In fact, he was championing a cause very important to the fire fighters and law enforcement officers who protect the communities we all live in.  
    Congressman Barrow understands that an employee’s right to discuss workplace place issues with his/her employer should not be limited to the private sector. He realizes that most of the fire departments in Georgia are understaffed and many are unable to meet minimum safety standards. He knows that when fire fighters, emergency medical personnel, and police officers can meet with their employers to discuss public safety issues, everyone benefits.  
    The bill does not require unionization. In fact, the employees need to decide by majority vote if they want a union to represent them. There is an argument that allowing public safety employees to collectively bargain will cause taxes to increase. It is important to note that all decisions, bargaining, etc are handled on the local level. In other words, the local union is operated by the employees who live and work in your community. I find it difficult to imagine an employee wanting to negotiate a benefit at work that will cause his/her taxes to increase.
    Congressman Barrow put fairness and the public safety first. By co-sponsoring and ultimately voting to pass H.R. 980, he was doing the job the voters of the 12th District elected him to perform. John Barrow should be applauded for his leadership. I encourage Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, to follow his lead.  
Jon M. Dorman
Professional Fire Fighters of Georgia
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