Pennsylvania will only become a beacon for opportunity when its policies are in the hands of taxpayers and citizens, not special interests and bureaucrats. It’s vital that our government is accountable to the people—not organizations or institutions. Policies that advance transparency and restore workers’ rights are the keys to this happening.

Government Accountability

The Janus Impact and Grading of State Public Sector Labor Laws

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 28, 2019

In the Janus aftermath, pro-union forces make legislative headway counteracting the court decision, while workers push back in the courts. This report details the trends, and grades each state according to…

Report

Read More: The Janus Impact and Grading of State Public Sector Labor Laws

Government Accountability

Pa. State Union Contracts Cost Taxpayers an Additional $1 Billion

  • Jessica Barnett
  • August 13, 2019

How much is the cost of doing business with Pennsylvania state government unions? For the most recent round of contract negotiations, an additional $1.15 billion over the next four years.

Media

Read More: Pa. State Union Contracts Cost Taxpayers an Additional $1 Billion

Education

Statement: Gov. Wolf’s Charter Accountability Plan

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 13, 2019

Today, Governor Tom Wolf will unveil his plans to alter accountability mechanisms for Pennsylvania's charter schools. However, Gov. Wolf's strategy is not as much about accountability as it is his administration's attempt…

Press Release

Read More: Statement: Gov. Wolf’s Charter Accountability Plan

Public Union Democracy

Government Unions One Year after Janus v. AFSCME

  • Jessica Barnett
  • August 2, 2019

One year after Janus unions lost significant fee-based revenue, fee-payers largely remain non-union, and existing members—frequently unaware of the ruling or restricted from resigning—often maintain membership…

Memo

Read More: Government Unions One Year after Janus v. AFSCME

Public Union Democracy

Are Unions Preparing to Charge Fair Share Fees Once Again?

  • Jessica Barnett
  • July 30, 2019

It’s been one year since Janus v. AFSCME overturned 40 years of government labor precedent. Now, public employees who decide not to join their workplace union are no longer forced…

Media

Read More: Are Unions Preparing to Charge Fair Share Fees Once Again?

Public Union Democracy

Pa. Union Membership Declines Post-Janus

  • Jessica Barnett
  • July 24, 2019

In the year following Janus v. AFSCME, which stopped unions from charging nonmembers “fair share fees,” a central question emerged: how would this ruling impact total union membership? Official reports…

Media

Read More: Pa. Union Membership Declines Post-Janus

Government Accountability

Budget Earmarks: Sneaky and Unconstitutional

  • Andrew Abramczyk, Jessica Barnett
  • July 12, 2019

A wise buyer should always read the fine print, but it isn’t easy. Documents like cell phone contracts and software user agreements can be hard to read, often by design. The dense language…

Media

Read More: Budget Earmarks: Sneaky and Unconstitutional

Government Accountability

A Look Inside New Government Union Contracts

  • Jessica Barnett
  • July 10, 2019

Government union leaders recently reached multi-year contract agreement with the Wolf Administration, including 18% compensation increases over four years. Even though taxpayers foot the bill, they are still waiting to know…

Media

Read More: A Look Inside New Government Union Contracts

Public Union Democracy

Respecting Workers’ Rights

  • June 26, 2019

Do you really have liberty if it is not legally protected? Five Pennsylvanian corrections officers likely asked themselves that question when their union, the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association…

Media

Read More: Respecting Workers’ Rights

Public Union Democracy

Do Teachers Know About Their Rights?

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 25, 2019

A year after the path-changing Janus v. AFSCME decision that freed 5 million American government workers from having to pay union fees, there hasn’t been the exodus of union members…

Media

Read More: Do Teachers Know About Their Rights?

Education

Wolf’s Actions Speak Louder Than Words

  • Colleen Hroncich
  • June 18, 2019

Governor Wolf talks the talk. In his 2018 budget address, he called for ensuring “your zip code doesn’t determine what kind of education you can get.” In his …

Media

Read More: Wolf’s Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Government Accountability

The Shadow Budget Comes to Light

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Tirzah Duren
  • June 6, 2019

The shadow budget is coming into the light in an unlikely way this…

Media

Read More: The Shadow Budget Comes to Light

Government Accountability

Transparency Deferred During Union Contract Negotiations

  • Jessica Barnett
  • June 3, 2019

Public dollars, secrecy, and politics should never mix. Yet, it’s a disturbingly common practice in Pennsylvania as public officials negotiate costly government employee contracts with their campaign donors—behind closed…

Media

Read More: Transparency Deferred During Union Contract Negotiations

Public Union Democracy

Employee Rights Notification Becomes Imperative Following New Court Ruling

  • Jessica Barnett
  • May 23, 2019

Laws contradicting U.S. Supreme Court decisions should be removed from the books, or at least that’s what Pennsylvania teachers Greg Hartnett, Elizabeth Galaska, Rob Brough, and John Cress rationally argued…

Media

Read More: Employee Rights Notification Becomes Imperative Following New Court Ruling

Public Union Democracy

Pa. Attorney General Agrees: Workers Should Know Their Rights

  • Jessica Barnett, Nathan Benefield
  • May 14, 2019

Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently demonstrated why Pennsylvania government workers need the Employee Rights Notification Act (House Bill 785 and Senate Bill 371). In a tweet, Shapiro…

Media

Read More: Pa. Attorney General Agrees: Workers Should Know Their Rights

Government Accountability

Union Medicaid Dues Skimming Scheme Finally Ends

  • Jessica Barnett
  • May 3, 2019

Six years ago, Pam Harris fought in court to keep her disabled son at home. A portion of her limited caregiver stipend was being funneled to union she never…

Media

Read More: Union Medicaid Dues Skimming Scheme Finally Ends

Public Union Democracy

Gov. Unions: Pennsylvania’s Biggest Political Spenders

  • Jessica Barnett
  • April 29, 2019

We all know that government unions are big players in American politics. However, new research gives us some perspective on just how big they play. According to an analysis by…

Media

Read More: Gov. Unions: Pennsylvania’s Biggest Political Spenders

Public Union Democracy

‘Stuck in My Union’

  • April 24, 2019

Shalea Oliver is suing her union, because "No Pennsylvanian should have his or her rights ignored."…

Commentary

Read More: ‘Stuck in My Union’

Public Union Democracy

Guest Post: Shattering Myths About Government Unions

  • April 15, 2019

As a former public school teacher, I can tell you: plenty of false messages circulate about union membership. Is union membership required? Why do government employees belong to unions and…

Media

Read More: Guest Post: Shattering Myths About Government Unions

Criminal Justice Reform

Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 12, 2019

Here's a letter I submitted to the Philadelphia Daily News on how Pennsylvanians of any ideology can share good intent, and work toward a common goal. I was disappointed…

Media

Read More: Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

Public Union Democracy

The Facts about Pa.’s Employee Rights Notification Act

  • April 9, 2019

The Employee Rights Notification Act (HB 785) is exactly what its name suggests: notifying employees of their existing rights. So what are these rights, and why must workers be…

Media

Read More: The Facts about Pa.’s Employee Rights Notification Act