photo by Jana Birchum

Best Organized Labor Gadfly

Bob Nicks

Bob Nicks assumed the presidency of the Austin Firefighters Association at a difficult moment, when the city, the Fire Department, and the union were all embroiled in wrestling with the U.S. Department of Justice over an institutional history of racial discrimination. Despite occasional missteps, he has worked steadily with his members and his bosses to move the department forward to fully reflect the diversity of the community it protects, while not sacrificing either hiring standards or the interests of his members. The latest contract negotiations resulted in an agreement both sides could applaud – until Nicks again must shake hands and come out fighting.

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