FERRIS - Council members voted unanimously to a resolution opposing HR 890, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 that federalizes state and local government labor-management relations.

It was noted the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the resolution, which is yet to be approved by the Senate.

“If this resolution becomes law, it would overrule the state of Texas law that forbids collective bargaining,” City Manager Gus Pappas said. “Obviously, the ability to collectively bargain (creates) the ability to strike, which lays the groundwork for the establishment of formal and official unions to represent the public safety of workers.

The cost to a city is tremendous, not only in increased wages and benefits, but also in lost work due to mandated organizational and structural changes,” he said.

“Texas has been able to control this problem for decades and it has benefited by it with no genuine loss to its employees,” Pappas said. “I hope strong responses from cities of Texas will encourage both the senate and the president to not allow this blatant authority override to become a reality.

“My municipal experience shows it to be the beginning of the end,” he said.

In other business, council members approved the annexation of 448.169 acres of land known as the McCoy property Monday night.

The property is located along Farm-to-Market 983 and farm-to-market 664 and is the same as the recently approved Ellis County Municipal Utilities District No. 1.

Council members also voted a transfer of funds from the council reserve for the purpose of purchasing an ice machine for the public works department and also approved the purchase in separate action.