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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 27, 2017 04:28 PM
From: Representative Jerry Knowles
To: All House members
Subject: Freedom of Representation Act
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will give public employees the freedom to choose their workplace representation. Under Pennsylvania’s Public Employee Relations Act, a labor union represents the interests of all employees within a certified bargaining unit, whether they are members of the union or not. Public employees who are not union members are then required by law to pay a fair share fee to the labor union to cover the costs of such representation.

My legislation will give public employees the freedom to represent their own interests, or to form a competing union. Many public employees resent paying a fair share fee to a labor union they feel does not adequately represent their interests. But labor unions counter that these fair share fees are justified because the labor unions are required to represent all employees in the bargaining unit. This legislation will remove the requirement that public labor unions must represent nonmembers as a monopoly bargaining agent. By default, this legislation will remove the requirement for charging fair share fees to union nonmembers. This legislation does not impact the private sector.

Pennsylvania’s public employees deserve the freedom to choose how they want to be represented to their employer. This legislation would empower those talented public employees who wish to do so to negotiate merit pay free from government interference. Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1623