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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 15, 2019 12:24 PM
From: Representative Cris Dush
To: All House members
Subject: Strike Authorization for Public Employees
Please find attached a copy of legislation I plan to reintroduce from last session (HB2586) that amends the Public Employee Relations Act (Act 195 of 1970) to require that a secret ballot vote be conducted amongst all employees in a collective bargaining unit before a public-sector labor organization can announce a strike. Although Act 195 authorizes strikes by public employees if a collective bargaining impasse is reached, it does not specify how the labor organization is to internally administer or authorize its leadership to announce a strike.

With no statutory guidance, it is left to each labor organization’s constitution for how its membership is to authorize a strike. It is my understanding that many (but not all) union constitutions do require secret ballot votes for strike authorization, but that there is no consistency as to whether such votes include all members of a collective bargaining unit, or just members of the union.

I believe that the Legislature needs to protect the rights of all employees in a collective bargaining unit by ensuring that they all have a fair opportunity to vote, without intimidation, on whether to authorize a strike. My legislation will protect employee rights by mandating that strike authorization votes must include votes by nonmembers and be done via secret ballot vote.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association supports this legislation, and I expect that organizations representing other public employers will support this legislation.

Previously introduced as HB 2586, previous co-sponsors include: GROVE, KAUFFMAN AND ZIMMERMAN

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