HB 2571 is a commonsense reform that benefits public sector workers and aligns Pennsylvania law with the U.S. Supreme Court's Janus v. AFSCME decision. Here are five reasons it must pass the legislature this month.
- It's the law. The Janus v. AFSCME decision declared fair share fees a violation of workers constitutional rights. Pennsylvania still has laws authorizing these fees. Leaving state laws in direct contradiction of national law will create confusion as unions negotiate contracts next year. Having contradictory laws on the books could even expose public employers (taxpayers) to lawsuits.
- Government workers deserve the facts. HB 2571 does not impact collective bargaining. It simply requires employers to tell new and non-union employees they are not required to become a union member or pay fees to keep their job. The misleading descriptions of HB 2571 from government unions only bolster the case for requiring employers to notify public sector workers of their legal rights. It is unacceptable that nearly one-third of impacted workers do not know fair share fees have been abolished.
- Union members and the public support it. The public supports enforcing the Janus ruling and protecting worker rights. National polling shows an overwhelming majority of voters agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Janus; which coincides with Pennsylvania statewide polling commissioned by the Commonwealth Foundation. In fact, the majority of union members agreed with the Janus ruling, according to a nationwide study.
- It protects workers' First Amendment rights. In Janus, the court ruled all money collected by government unions is political because every dollar for government workers represents tax dollars that can't fund other government functions. If workers continue to pay dues because they don't know they can resign without paying a fair share fee, they are unwillingly supporting politics with which they may disagree. That's simply unfair.
- It's simple and cost-effective. Notification requirements are just that: a notification. Organizations like the Pennsylvania School Boards Association support notification, and it can be done in a cost-effective manner. This notification is akin to the workplace rights notices public employers already post—at minimal (if any) cost to taxpayers.
Pennsylvania workers are completely capable of deciding for themselves whether to join a union or not. But they deserve all the information before making that important choice.