National Conference of Police Associations
I.U.P.A.’s history began in 1954 when the union was known as the National Conference of Police Associations (N.C.P.A.). The N.C.P.A. was developed in response to the evolving demands of the law enforcement profession, especially collective bargaining and benefits.
International Conference of Police Associations
In 1966, the N.C.P.A. amended its by-laws to allow a number of local Canadian police associations to affiliate and became known as the International Conference of Police Associations (I.C.P.A.).
International Union of Police Associations
It soon became apparent that police officers were in need of the support and services that only the AFL-CIO could provide through the auspices of other police officers. The I.C.P.A. declined to ally itself with the AFL-CIO, so the member organizations that saw the importance of a united labor front created the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO (I.U.P.A.).
On February 20, 1979, I.U.P.A. was granted an AFL-CIO charter by President George Meany as the first union that gave the law enforcement community an independent voice within the organized labor movement. This partnership was created to enhance the working and personal lives of law enforcement professionals across the country. That partnership has not changed.
Pivotal Role in the Passage of Amendments
The I.U.P.A. played a pivotal role in the passage of amendments that made the FLSA one of the most important labor laws ever passed applicable to law enforcement. In 1986, Congress passed a series of amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which forever changed American policing. No longer could law enforcement officers be required to work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week without compensation, and no longer did local unions and associations have to collectively bargain to ensure that overtime was paid at time and a half. The passage of the FLSA amendments demonstrated, clearly and unequivocally, the great value of an independent law enforcement and AFL-CIO-affiliated union. We also fought alongside the AFL-CIO in opposition to the rule changes to this act promulgated by the Department of Labor. This collaborative effort resulted in the passage of the Harkin Amendment through both houses of Congress on several occasions.
National & International Growth
Due to our organizing campaigns, I.U.P.A.’s membership has grown tremendously since 1990. Included in the expansion across the country of police and sheriff’s departments has been the affiliation of corrections officers as well as 8,000 law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico. We now represent officers from California to Massachusetts, Minnesota to Florida, and across the Mid-West.
The I.U.P.A. fought alongside the AFL-CIO
The I.U.P.A. fought alongside the AFL-CIO in opposition to the rule changes to the FLSA promulgated by the Department of Labor. This collaborative effort resulted in the passage of the Harkin Amendment through both houses of Congress.
Making progress & launching leorf
As difficult as the past several years have been, the I.UP.A. has been able to make progress. Against heavy odds, working together with our brothers and sisters in the AFL-CIO, we were able to mount a successful campaign to repeal an Ohio law that would not only have gutted the collective bargaining process in that state, but would also have served as a dangerous precedent for other states to emulate and destroy unionism as we know it.
We were also successful in improving the Law Enforcement Officer's Safety Act passed in 2004 by passing the Law Enforcement Officer's Safety Act Improvement Act into law in 2010. The new law greatly improved the ability of retired officers to carry concealed personal firearms throughout the country.
In 2011, we launched the first annual LEORF Golf Classic to increase support for the Law Enforcement Officer's Relief Fund (LEORF), LEORF was created by the I.U.P.A. to assist officers and their families when they are faced with financial problems caused by natural disasters, serious personal injuries on the job, or line of duty deaths. Too often, benefits from insurance and other sources take too long to come forward. LEORF is there to provide immediate assistance to get officers and their families through the first trying weeks of these disasters. Whether protecting their wages, benefits and work conditions, or assisting their families in especially trying times, the I.U.P.A. always stands by our members.
The most influential voice for law enforcement
Since I.U.P.A.'s beginning, the organization has become one of the most influential voices for law enforcement in our nation's political arena by aiding our legislative representatives in drafting legislation that impacts the lives of not only our membership, but the law enforcement and labor community as a whole. Important legislative initiatives have included the National Police Officers Bill of Rights, educational survivor benefits for police families and armored vest grants to municipalities. Bargaining rights and the Social Security Fairness Act are among the issues before Congress to which the I.U.P.A. commits its strength.
The I.U.P.A. of the 21st Century represents officers from the Rockies to New England, Wisconsin to Texas, Seattle to St. Thomas and everywhere in between. Our member unions include those in small rural municipalities where a handful of officers take responsibility for the public safety as well as busy urban departments with rosters numbering in the thousands. Each is accorded the same advantages of I.U.P.A. membership —expert legal representation, substantial benefits packages and experienced leadership. And most importantly, I.UP.A. continues to accomplish its founding goal: to be the principal voice and advocate of America's rank and file law enforcement personnel.
Protecting Our Members
The ever-changing laws and demands on the law enforcement community have created a significant need for officers to be covered legally while on the job. In response to this need, I.U.P.A. created a full service legal program that was tailored to offer representation in matters related to grievance and disciplinary hearings, collective bargaining, job security, contract administration, and any other legal ramifications related to the course and scope of duty.
The I.U.P.A. further strengthened its policy of protection of its members by forming an alliance with a strong legal partner to cover civil and criminal incidents. The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) will provide an attorney on-site to assist you immediately for acts or omissions performed within the scope of employment. Most importantly, the I.U.P.A. LDF offers full protection with no cap on benefits, no co-payments, and no deductible. This LDF is by far the best in the country.