In the wake of Janus v. AFSCME, the Commonwealth Foundation has worked closely with Pennsylvania state legislators to craft and advance a slate of labor reform bills.
The House labor committee recently conducted a hearing on HB 2571, which would compel unions to notify all new and nonmember government workers that union membership and fees are voluntary. Considering a majority of union members support the Janus decision, educating workers of this popular right should be a top legislative priority.
The bill’s sponsor, Kate Klunk, heralded the Janus decision as a “First Amendment victory for all employees throughout the Commonwealth” and a “worker rights’ protection bill.” HB 2571 would also repeal the two state laws authorizing fair share fee payments by nonmembers.
In addition to this new legislation informing members of their rights, legislation is moving forward to:
- Expand the right to resign. Rep. Fred Keller’s HB 2593 regularly alerts workers of their right to resign from a union in an expanded 45-day window. Taking this a step further, Rep. Greg Rothman’s planned legislation will eliminate “maintenance of membership” restrictions on when employees can join and leave a union.
- Give workers voting rights. Rep. Seth Grove plans to introduce legislation granting workers the regular opportunity to maintain or change their union representation.
- Provide all workers a voice in workplace strikes. Rep. Cris Dush introduced HB 2586 requiring a majority of public sector employees to authorize a union strike via secret ballot vote.
The Janus case helped lay the groundwork for these bills, and CF will continue building the momentum to move free-market labor policies from ideas into law.