More than 300 Nevada Highway Patrol troopers may soon be members of the Teamsters Union.
Business agent Gary Wolff said the NHP Association has voted to negotiate with Teamsters Local 14 in Las Vegas to represent them.
He said with Clark County agencies still paying thousands more a year for officers than the NHP, salary is a major issue. But he said medical benefits are the biggest issue.
"Our medical cost has just skyrocketed through the state," Wolff said.
He said when the troopers voted to begin negotiations, "there were only nine dissenting votes."
Wolff said the Teamsters support is critical.
"We need the additional political clout," he said. "The single biggest problem in state government is the lack of collective bargaining."
Wolff will return to his board of directors by Nov. 6 with a deal outlining dues and benefits which will then be submitted to patrol members for a vote.
"I really see no problem here," he said. "We may be the only law enforcement in Nevada under the Teamsters, but they're a good solid union and they have law enforcement members in other states."
Until salary and benefits issues are resolved, he said NHP will continue to serve as something of a training center for local police agencies in Nevada - particularly those in Clark County.
"We're losing quite a few troopers to Clark County agencies," he said adding that NHP isn't alone.
"There's huge turnover in Parole and Probation as well and in other state agencies," he said.
He said the effect is two-fold because the agencies lose a trained officer and then must spend a year or more training a replacement.