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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 27, 2018 02:06 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Jay Costa, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. John P. Blake, Sen. Lisa M. Boscola, Sen. James R. Brewster, Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman, Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr., Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Daylin Leach, Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr., Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Sen. John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Strengthening Collective Bargaining
In light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Janus we plan on introducing legislation to strengthen collective bargaining in the Commonwealth.

The reality is that a strong and growing middle class has always been the fuel for our economy and it is the tide that lifts all boats. Over the past century, working Pennsylvanians saw greater increases in their standard of living during periods of increased unionization. Corporate special interests are funding anti-worker campaigns in order to weaken unions. The result of these efforts will likely negatively impact the wages, healthcare, workplace safety, and retirement of our teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses and countless other government workers who serve and protect us. This divide and conquer economic warfare on the middle class must be stopped.

Our legislation attempts to stem this assault on working people by strengthening the opportunity for them to form unions and stick together. Economic gains for working Pennsylvanians did not come quickly or easily. Yet thanks to anti-worker efforts, economic gains have been rolled back with the goal to seemingly eliminate them for all. Across the board in every “right to work” state there are lower wages, higher medical costs, greater retirement insecurity, as well higher poverty, infant mortality, and workplace deaths.

First, our bill makes deciding whether to form a union easier by streamlining the election process. Instead of requiring a lengthy two-tiered election process, this bill would allow a simple card check where expressing majority support would be sufficient. Next, our legislation requires access for new employees to certified unions in order for them to explain the benefits of union membership.

“Right to work” is a fallacy and a distraction meant to divide working people and pay them less. If left unchecked, these anti-worker efforts will weaken our middle class and likely increase inequality. Only through strength in numbers have working Pennsylvanians really ever found economic progress.

Please join us in standing with our firefighters, police officers, teachers, caseworkers, and every government worker by co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB13