Jul. 31, 2020
-- For too long, the rights of Pennsylvania’s public servants have been suppressed by special interests and political favoritism, costing them their voice and hard-earned money. To ensure the rights of Pennsylvania’s public sector employees are protected, Rep. David Rowe (R-Snyder/Union) today introduced legislation to put public workers back in charge of their representation.
“Special interests have used the levers of government and their outsized political influence to enrich themselves off the backs of public servants,” Rowe said. “It’s time we stand with workers by fully protecting their constitutional rights and ensuring that their voices are heard in the workplace.”
House Bill 2748
would codify much of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. While the Janus ruling upheld workers’ First Amendment rights by ending the mandatory collection of union dues and freeing workers from paying union fees against their will, many public sector workers are still fighting for protection two years later.
“This legislation is a simple fix to ensure the law of the land – affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court – is a reality here in Pennsylvania,” Rowe explained. “It’s not about unions or politics. This is about workers being treated fairly and legally by the organizations that are supposed to represent them.”
Rowe went on to detail the goals of the bill: informing workers of their legal rights, allowing workers to leave a union at will, establishing affirmative consent for workers to join a union, and ending the taxpayer-funded collection of union dues and PAC money.
“Now more than ever working men and women in Pennsylvania need their paychecks to provide food and shelter, and long-term stability for their families,” Rowe added. “If they don’t feel like the dues coming out of their paycheck are being used in their best interest, they should have the right to choose to keep their hard-earned money.”
The bill would also introduce democratic improvements to the union contract process, requiring recertification of the union by election every three years and empowering workers to represent themselves during union contract negotiations, if they choose to.
Pennsylvania remains one of the largest homes to public sector union workers. An estimated 333,000 workers would be helped by Rowe’s legislation.
“It’s time to make sure workers are once again the priority, and that starts with protecting their rights and giving them a voice within their own unions,” Rowe said.
Representative David Rowe
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Haas