Labor/Legal Department

NFSA has multi-employer collective bargaining relationships with 16 local unions across the country. The Labor Relations/Legal Staff serve as chief spokespeople for hundreds of fire protection employers nationwide, collaborating with various local and national committees to negotiate all of NFSA’s labor contracts.

The Labor Relations/Legal staff also supports member contractors on a wide variety of contract administration, grievance, arbitration and National Labor Relations Board issues.  In addition, they serve as management trustees on various trust funds (Pension, Health and Welfare, Apprenticeship & Training, etc.) which provide benefits to thousands of the contractors’ unionized employees.

In total, NFSA’s collective bargaining agreements and employee benefits trust funds cover approximately 20,000 individuals.

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Fred Barall

Senior Vice President of Industrial Relations and General Counsel

Fred Barall, NFSA’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Relations and General Counsel, leads the Association’s Labor Relations and Legal functions.

Fred is an attorney who is admitted to practice law in New York. In addition to providing advice to member contractors on labor issues, Fred offers legal counsel to NFSA and its staff on a wide variety of general corporate business issues, including antitrust, employment, intellectual property, not-for-profit, and tax law. He also drafts and reviews Association contracts and handbooks, and provide legislative interpretation and public comments in the lawmaking process.

Fred has over thirty years of experience in both labor relations and legal matters.

In addition to his NFSA experience, Fred Barall previously represented employers at a variety of reputable companies such as General Electric Co., Lockheed Martin Corporation, PG&E National Energy Group, The Baltimore Sun and Armstrong World Industries.

Lance Gunnells

Legal/Labor Relations Coordinator

Lance earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to joining NFSA, Lance worked with a small law firm in Springfield, Tennessee.

Lance provides support to Senior V.P. of Industrial Relations and General Counsel Fred Barall on behalf of NFSA’s signatory contractors in negotiations and general contract administration with the sprinkler fitter unions. Lance also serves as an employer trustee on various Taft-Hartley employee benefits funds, and participates in various other NFSA legal projects and initiatives.