By Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a landmark case involving the ongoing battle of public sector unions and their right to assess a “fair share fee” to employees who choose not to belong to the union but were recipients of collective bargaining results. The fee, which usually amounts to roughly 80% of union dues, has been a target for free enterprise groups for years, keeping public sector unions on the defense as they try to preserve their financial collection systems.
In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court threw out the ability of unions to collect the fair share fee, ostensibly opening the doors to a massive exodus of captive public employees. Since the decision, however, many employees have admitted to not being aware of their new rights. Because of that obfuscation, state House Republicans are now mounting an awareness effort through legislation. Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York) has introduced House Bill 785, which would simply provide written notice to public sector union employees that they are neither obligated to join a union, nor are they subject to garnishment as a condition of employment.
While the bill provides straightforward notification regarding employee rights, Democrats have circled the wagons, calling the bill an “attack on workers.” The legislation was brought to a vote in a recent House Labor & Industry Committee meeting, with all Republicans voting to support the bill and all Democrats voting against the bill. Now on the House floor, Democrats have bogged the bill down with more than 100 frivolous amendments in an attempt to smother any momentum.
While the fate of HB 785 remains to be seen, it’s clear that public sector unions have a lot to lose if the truth gets out.
March 27, 2019