Yesterday, the House Labor Committee voted to advance HB 785, the Employee Rights Notification Act.
Unfortunately, this innocuous proposal became a partisan issue, with the vote falling along party lines. This shouldn’t be. HB 785 does nothing more than repeal state laws made unconstitutional by the Janus decision and ensures government workers know their legal rights. This proposal doesn’t even include other needed labor reforms, including giving public employees the right to resign from their union, giving workers the right to reelect their union, or letting workers represent themselves.
The plain language in the bill explains workers’ rights, while remaining neutral regarding the merits of joining a union.
As a new or returning employe, it is your right to decide whether you will join the employe organization (union) which will represent you for the purposes of collective bargaining. You may join the employe organization or remain a nonmember. It is not a condition of employment to join the employe organization, and there is no obligation to make any payment to the employe organization if you elect to be a nonmember. You may contact the employe organization if you want to discuss the possibility of membership.
HB 785 is necessary because unions like UFCW have been lying, on multiple occasions, to state employees, saying they have to join the union. Despite this evidence, Gov. Wolf’s administration chose to not inform employees of their legal rights.
HB 785 represents a simple choice: Tell workers their legal rights, or turn a blind eye to willful deception.