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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2019 11:20 AM
From: Representative Jerry Knowles
To: All House members
Subject: Transparency of Public-Sector Union Operations
I will be introducing legislation to increase the transparency of our public-sector unions’ operations, with the goal of ensuring that union members are fully apprised of how their dues monies are being spent. My legislation amends the Public Employee Relations Act (Act 195 of 1970) to require that:
  • Quarterly reports be filed with the PA Labor Relations Board by unions representing public-sector employees. The quarterly reports would have to detail union officer/employee salaries, salary increases, and travel expenses incurred during a calendar quarter.
  • The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board create a publicly-accessible website and post the quarterlyreports on the website.
  • Public employers forward copies of collective bargaining agreements to the Board to be posted on website.
  • Where applicable, public sector unions file a copy of their annually required federal report with the Board to be posted on its website.

It is important to note that the Commonwealth has no reporting requirements for public sector unions, whereas the federal government through the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) established some transparency requirements for the private sector unions they have jurisdiction over. In fact, there are already many public-sector unions in the Commonwealth that must file the federal LMRDA annual report because they also represent employees of private sector entities (which brings them under jurisdiction of LMRDA). To be clear, this legislation does not affect private sector unions, such as those representing the building trades.

It is my contention that we need to ensure that all Commonwealth public sector unions be transparent with their members. We need to protect the right of union members to be fully aware of how their dues monies are spent to ensure accountability.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB871