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Senate Proceeding 05-13-08 on May 13th, 2008 :: 0:19:39 to 0:35:12
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Charles Schumer

0:07:28 to 0:19:39( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

0:19:24 to 0:19:39( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: this resolution as soon as possible so that american consumers no longer have to carry the heavy burden of high energy prices all by themselves. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: who seeks

Edward Kennedy

0:19:39 to 0:19:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: recognition? mr. kennedy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kennedy: i thank my colleague and friend from wyoming, senator enzi, for extending the courtesy

Edward Kennedy

0:19:39 to 0:35:12( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy

0:19:55 to 0:20:10( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: because we've had some speakers on our side that out of the respect for their schedules, we've welcomed their comments at this time. but i'd like to give brief focus to -- attention to the subject

Edward Kennedy

0:20:10 to 0:20:23( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: matter at hand and the matter that is before the -- the senate and to describe in greater detail this legislation and the reasons for it and the support for this important piece of legislation. mr.

Edward Kennedy

0:20:23 to 0:20:41( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: president, first of all, i want to commend the senate for voting earlier today to take up the public safety employer-employee cooperation act. the house passed this bill last july by an overwhelming vote

Edward Kennedy

0:20:41 to 0:20:56( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: of 314-97. and the cooperation act isn't just about protecting union rights. this bill is vitally important to each and every american because at its core, it's about safety, the safety of our dedicated

Edward Kennedy

0:20:56 to 0:21:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: first responders and the safety of our nation in this new era of heightened concerns about homeland security. the bill takes a major step forward in protecting our firefighters, police officers, emergency

Edward Kennedy

0:21:11 to 0:21:33( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: medical technicians, and other first responders from danger on the job. public safety workers are on the front lines of our constant efforts in keeping america safe. they are all on call 24 hours a

Edward Kennedy

0:21:33 to 0:21:45( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: day, seven days a week doing back-breaking difficult work and doing it with great skill, great courage and great dedication. we've seen all too often how dangerous these jobs can be. and, mr. president,

Edward Kennedy

0:21:45 to 0:22:03( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: these charts here illustrate this point. in 200-6r, more than -- in 2006, more than 75,000 police officers were injured in the line of duty. and last year, 140 police officers paid the ultimate price

Edward Kennedy

0:22:03 to 0:22:22( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and lost their lives in the line ofuty. and we see the similar, . president, with firefighters who put their lives on the line every day. in 2006, more than 83,000 firefighters were injured in the

Edward Kennedy

0:22:22 to 0:22:37( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: line of duty. and last year, 115 firefighters paid the ultimate price and another 45 have lost their lives so far this year. dangerous work, mr. president, life-threatening work and a -- careers which

Edward Kennedy

0:22:37 to 0:22:49( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: men and women follow for years with great courage and dedication and commitment to the public interest and to the families of america. those are the individuals that we're talking about with this legislation.

Edward Kennedy

0:22:49 to 0:23:02( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: first responders, mr. president, can also face the chronic long-term health problems as well. the courageous firefighters who rush to ground zero -- rushed to ground zero on 9/11 now suffer from crippling

Edward Kennedy

0:23:02 to 0:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: health problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders. they often pay the ultimate price. last year, as i mentioned, 250 public

Edward Kennedy

0:23:17 to 0:23:26( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: safety employees across the country lost their lives in the line of duty. our public safety workers do not hesitate to rush into fires, wade into floorksdz put their lives on the line in other

Edward Kennedy

0:23:26 to 0:23:39( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: -- floods, put their lives on the line in other ways to protect our homes, our lives, and our communities. they deserve nothing else that what is needed to keep them safe on the job. and they

Edward Kennedy

0:23:39 to 0:23:54( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: deserve a right to have a voice in decisions that profoundly affect their lives and their safety. when governments and public safety workers are unable to cooperate through collective bargaining, the

Edward Kennedy

0:23:54 to 0:24:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: workers' lives are put at needless risk. the numbers tell the story. look at this chart, mr. president. where we have states with the collective bargaining, which is the underlying issue before the

Edward Kennedy

0:24:11 to 0:24:25( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: senate with this legislation here, the states without collective bargaining have 39% more fatalities. 39% higher with states without bargaining. and the reasons primarily, mr. president, is because

Edward Kennedy

0:24:25 to 0:24:38( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: these firefighters know how to work in ways that can protect the public and also can provide greater safety and security for the firefighters and for first responders and police officials as well.

Edward Kennedy

0:24:38 to 0:24:51( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: based upon their experience, their knowledge of the task which is before them. and because of that, they are able to have a much better safety record, and that is basically what we're trying to share,

Edward Kennedy

0:24:51 to 0:25:06( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that kind of experience with the other firefighters and police officials and first responders in other parts of the country that don't have these kinds of protections. mr. president, behind those numbers

Edward Kennedy

0:25:06 to 0:25:22( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: are the tragic stories of lives that could have been saved with better communication or better coordination of effort effort. an heartbreaking example occurred last year in charleston, south carolina.

Edward Kennedy

0:25:22 to 0:25:31( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: mr. president, as the -- in 2002, the charleston firefighters association asked the city to begin following the national fire protection association. that's an organization that has set up -- that is set up that makes

Edward Kennedy

0:25:31 to 0:25:46( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: recommendations with regard to safety and security in areas of fire -- in fighting fires. unfortunately, there were no mechanism to ensure that these concerns could be heard and addressed. and on

Edward Kennedy

0:25:46 to 0:26:02( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: june 18, 2007, nine charleston firefighters died in the line of duty. in october 2007, an expert panel hired by the city to investigate the loss recommended that the department begin following the nfpa

Edward Kennedy

0:26:02 to 0:26:18( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: standards and begin meeting with the workers. that was their recommendation after finding out the loss of lives. afterwards. we want to try and establish a procedure to avoid those kinds of circumstances

Edward Kennedy

0:26:18 to 0:26:30( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: in the future. we will never know, mr. president, how many lives might have been saved on that day in charleston if adequate safety standards had been in place, but we do know that in many other fire

Edward Kennedy

0:26:30 to 0:26:43( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: departments across the country, critical discussions out safety should be happening but they are not. unless public safety workers have a voice on the job, these problems will never be fully and

Edward Kennedy

0:26:43 to 0:27:01( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: fairly addressed. and without the protection of collective bargaining, workers are afraid to speak out for fear they'll face retaliation. these fears are well-founded because of countless examples of brave

Edward Kennedy

0:27:01 to 0:27:12( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and dedicated first responders who have been harshly punished for raising safety concerns. consider the case of firefighter stan tinney of odessa, texas. here's the situation, mr. president. 2001, stan

Edward Kennedy

0:27:12 to 0:27:24( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: tinney, president of the firefighters association in odessa, texas, published a newsletter critical of the fire department's safety practice, including the inadequate staffing and equipment. tinney

Edward Kennedy

0:27:24 to 0:27:35( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: was suspended without pay, reprimanded, downgraded in a performance evaluation, and a federal court -- it took a federal court later, found that the odessa city officials violated tinney's constitutional

Edward Kennedy

0:27:35 to 0:27:52( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: rights. it took a federal case in order to do that. think of all the other stan tinneys around the country that have been intimidated by that kind of action on that. we don't need that. we need to have

Edward Kennedy

0:27:52 to 0:28:03( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: suggestions, we need ideas, we need recommendations about how to protect our firefighters, our first responders and our police community. tinney and four of his coworkers coworkers, when this incident took

Edward Kennedy

0:28:03 to 0:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: place, were questioned individually by city officials and tinney was suspended without patience reprimanded and downgraded. a federal court later found his constitutional rights had been violated and

Edward Kennedy

0:28:15 to 0:28:29( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the city settled tinney's claim for $265,000. all that heartache, expense could have been avoided if there had been a mechanism in place for tinney to express his concern. this legislation provides

Edward Kennedy

0:28:29 to 0:28:40( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that. the public safety employer-employee cooperation act will give stan tinney and countless others like him a voice in the decisions that affect their jobs, their health and safety, and their family.

Edward Kennedy

0:28:40 to 0:28:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: it will give them a safer workplace. and just as important, it will give them a right to be treated with dignity and respect. it's not just individualorkers who will benefit from this important, enabling

Edward Kennedy

0:28:55 to 0:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: public safety workers and their employers to work cooperatively together makes our entire nation safer.|. inhe past decade we have seen dramatic changes in the way we protect our country. national

Edward Kennedy

0:29:09 to 0:29:25( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: security has become a local issue. every city and town in our country, large and small, urban and rural, now has a vital role in keeping us safe from harm. in this new and more dangerous world, state and

Edward Kennedy

0:29:25 to 0:29:40( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: local public safety workers are being asked to play an even larger role. we've got them being true partners in protecting our country from threats and they have risen to the challenge. but year after

Edward Kennedy

0:29:40 to 0:29:50( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: year we're failing to give them the support they need to do their vital jobs as effectively as possible. giving the brave men and women a voice they deserve at the bargaining table will facilitate

Edward Kennedy

0:29:50 to 0:30:08( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: cooperation between public safety workers and their employers and enable them to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively. the benefits are obvious. we see them in communities across the

Edward Kennedy

0:30:08 to 0:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: country that have already accepted the basic principles of public safety cooperation. take the example of annapolis, maryland, mr. president. here, until recently, scheduling rules for firefighters

Edward Kennedy

0:30:26 to 0:30:43( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and paramedics in annapolis, forced them to work 48-hour shifts leaving them vulnerable to dangerous misvacations. the union work -- dangerous mistakes. they worked with management to shorten shifts

Edward Kennedy

0:30:43 to 0:31:00( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: increasing safety. it doesn't sound too complicated, mr. president. it just sounds like common sense to me and it sounds like an important step in order to provide greater safety and protection for families

Edward Kennedy

0:31:00 to 0:31:13( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: in annapolis. workers there were concerned about the scheduling rules. through a cooperative collective bargaining relationship, they reduced the length of individual shifts and met the city's

Edward Kennedy

0:31:13 to 0:31:26( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: needs resulting in better rested and real benefits to first responders and the communities ey serve. such cooperation gives states and local governments the flexibility they need to spend to changing

Edward Kennedy

0:31:26 to 0:31:39( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: circumstances. permit, look at this chart -- mr. present, look at this chart here, the economy in tulsa oklahoma was struggling after 9/11 and through collective bargaining the mayor and firefighters

Edward Kennedy

0:31:39 to 0:31:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: agreed to defer payments into the firefighters' health and welfare trust and saved the city over $400,000. the city was able to spread the repayment to the trust over a period of time providing valuable

Edward Kennedy

0:31:55 to 0:32:06( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: flexibility that helped the city address its budget troubles. working together with the community and for the community, an important achievement and an important accomplishment. om some of my colleagues

Edward Kennedy

0:32:06 to 0:32:23( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: argue that granting these collectsive bargaining rights will limit the ability of -- collective bargaining rights will limit the ability of states to respond effectively from an emergency. nothing could

Edward Kennedy

0:32:23 to 0:32:40( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: be further from the truth. we have seen in the most dramatic illustration, mr. president, all 343 firefighter whose lost their lives in the line of duty on september 11th were union members and with collective

Edward Kennedy

0:32:40 to 0:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: bargaining rights. there's no question about their courage. no question about their bravery or willingness toli do their duty and do it heroically. when challenged, that has been the evidence, time in

Edward Kennedy

0:33:00 to 0:33:14( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and time out. so we reject those suggestions and those observations. mr. president, in addition, for example, 9/11, the port authority police officers worked eight hours -- 8-hour-days with two days

Edward Kennedy

0:33:14 to 0:33:26( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: off each week and after 9/11 everyone worked 12-hour shifts every day, all vacations and personal time were canceled. this hard schedule continued for nearly three years but neither the union or union

Edward Kennedy

0:33:26 to 0:33:42( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: member filed a single grievance about that. they did their duty and they did it heroically. do we understand that, mr. president? after 9/11, the port authority that has the responsibility in the

Edward Kennedy

0:33:42 to 0:33:56( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: greater port area in new york, before 9/11 they worked eight hour days with two days off each week and after 9/11, everyone worked 12-hour shifts every day, all vacations and personal time were canceled

Edward Kennedy

0:33:56 to 0:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and the hard schedule continued for nearly three years. neither the union or any union member filed a single grievance -- not a single grievance when they were recalled upon to meet their -- they

Edward Kennedy

0:34:07 to 0:34:19( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: were called upon to meet their responsibilities. they did their duty. our families and communities deserve the best public safety services we can possible provide and achieve that goal with strong

Edward Kennedy

0:34:19 to 0:34:39( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: foundations that comes with collective bargaining. no one doubts our communities and our country are living on borrowed time. we all hope that the numerous other steps we are taking will be successful

Edward Kennedy

0:34:39 to 0:35:12( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: in preventing similar catastrophic attacks. it makes no sense not to make the basic rights granted by this legislation available to all america's first responders t . it is an urgent matter and i

Mike DeWine

0:35:12 to 0:35:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mike DeWine: urge our colleagues to give our heroes the respect and support they deserve by approving the cooperation pact. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. enzi: i appreciate the opportunity

Mike DeWine

0:35:12 to 0:38:54( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mike DeWine

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