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Portsmouth considers collective bargaining for firefighters, other city employees

Collective bargaining would allow Portsmouth's firefighters and other city employees to negotiate their work conditions.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth City Council is considering giving city employees the option to use a collective bargaining process for pay and benefits.

Collective bargaining would allow Portsmouth's firefighters and other city employees to negotiate their work conditions.

The city has until August 29 to approve an ordinance to allow the process to keep going. At its meeting Tuesday night, city council unanimously approved the creation of a new panel to analyze its impact and costs on the city.

It's estimated to cost one to two million dollars a year.

The potential to allow for collective bargaining in the city comes as a result of a new law passed last year by the Virginia General Assembly that ended the state's outright ban on public sector collective bargaining and extended the right to local government workers if their locality opts in.

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