Priya Brannick

Senior Fellow

Priya Brannick is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation.

Priya has a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and graduated magna cum laude in 2002 with a degree in journalism from Texas Christian University. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation, she was an international affairs journalist for WORLD Magazine and the Communications Director for the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

Priya’s primary research areas include education reform and labor policy. Her expertise has been featured in various media outlets including: KDKA, WITF, WHYY, the Patriot News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, amongst others.

A native of Zambia, Africa, Priya has lived, worked, and traveled across the United States (and still admits to a strong fondness for soccer). She is deeply passionate about America’s founding principles, crafting sound public policy to better people’s lives, and ballroom dance.

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

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?

Public Union Democracy

4 Facts on Pennsylvania Teacher Strikes

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 13, 2018

Between the nearly averted strike in Pittsburgh and statewide strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma, the validity of teacher strikes is once again up for debate. Here are four facts…

Media

Read More: 4 Facts on Pennsylvania Teacher Strikes

Public Union Democracy

Ending the Government Union Skimming Scam

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 16, 2018

Imagine being disabled or sick and requiring help to bathe, eat, and even move from room to room within your own home. Medicaid, a taxpayer-funded health insurance program helps pay…

Media

Read More: Ending the Government Union Skimming Scam

Public Union Democracy

Fifty State Labor Report 2017

  • Jessica Barnett, Priya Brannick
  • December 20, 2017

We've updated a nationwide comparison of public sector labor laws - Pennsylvania again scores a D.

Report

Read More: Fifty State Labor Report 2017

Public Union Democracy

Transforming Labor

  • Priya Brannick
  • November 13, 2016

Executive Summary In the last five years, Americans have seen an unprecedented sweep of public sector labor reforms across several states. Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana—and most recently, West Virginia in…

Report

Read More: Transforming Labor

Public Union Democracy

Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 19, 2016

In the public’s eyes, labor unions have traditionally been the voice of working people. However, a closer look at how unions run their own…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

Public Union Democracy

Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 22, 2015

Government unions play a large role in influencing public spending and policies at the state and local level, but they are surprisingly undemocratic within their own organizations. The practice of…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Bringing Democracy to Pennsylvania Labor Unions

Public Union Democracy

Opening the Curtain on Government Unions

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 9, 2015

Because such labor contracts involve billions of taxpayer dollars, citizens have a right to know what each side is proposing before being legally obligated to fund them. In addition, Pennsylvania…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Opening the Curtain on Government Unions

Teacher Pays for Politics She Never Supported

  • Priya Brannick
  • December 1, 2014

Just four days before the November mid-term elections, college professor Mary Trometter got a letter from her teachers union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association. Well, to be precise—Trometter's husband got…

Media

Read More: Teacher Pays for Politics She Never Supported

Healthcare

When the Poorest Fall Through

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 6, 2014

On a Friday near noon, on the top floor of Christ Lutheran Church, John Kiessling has patients occupying both chairs at his charity dental clinic.  He buzzes from one to…

Media

Read More: When the Poorest Fall Through

Education

Teachers Sue PSEA in Landmark Case

  • Priya Brannick
  • September 19, 2014

Jane Ladley was a special education teacher in Chester County for more than 25 years until she retired this year. She may have left teaching, but she has a bone…

Media

Read More: Teachers Sue PSEA in Landmark Case

Education

Teachers Call for More Freedom, Choices

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 11, 2014

Heather Lister and Joe Connolly are both Pennsylvania educators, and they couldn’t be more different.  Heather is a 25-year-old library media specialist and a registered Democrat. Joe is a veteran…

Media

Read More: Teachers Call for More Freedom, Choices

Education

For Teachers, Knowledge is Power

  • Priya Brannick
  • August 11, 2014

Like any other group of professionals, teachers are a diverse lot, holding vastly differing social, cultural, and political views. So why is it that they’re lumped together and forced to…

Commentary

Read More: For Teachers, Knowledge is Power

Healthcare

My Obamacare Agony

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 10, 2014

I thought I was lucky. The last day to sign up for Obamacare had arrived, and I’d managed to purchase a plan on the national Obamacare exchange. I was just…

Commentary

Read More: My Obamacare Agony

Public Union Democracy

Union Quietly Admits to Using Dues for Politics

  • Priya Brannick
  • June 2, 2014

Whenever we talk about how teacher and other government unions spend their members’ dues on politics, the most common reaction we hear is that simply isn’t true. Workers often hear…

Media

Read More: Union Quietly Admits to Using Dues for Politics

Healthcare

My Obamacare Plan is Failing Me

  • Priya Brannick
  • April 15, 2014

Tuesday is the last day to sign up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchange. Luckily I’ve already purchased an exchange plan. But barely one month into my new health…

Commentary

Read More: My Obamacare Plan is Failing Me

Education

A Public School Funding SOS

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 28, 2014

The governor has proposed $10.1 billion for public schools, slightly higher than last year, which was then a record high. So what’s all the fuss about cuts?  At the same…

Commentary

Read More: A Public School Funding SOS

Education

7 Little-Known Facts on Pennsylvania Public School Spending

  • Priya Brannick
  • February 11, 2014

For years, teachers unions in Pennsylvania have claimed the governor cut $1 billion from schools. But the real story is more complicated. A huge influx of federal stimulus funding expired,…

Media

Read More: 7 Little-Known Facts on Pennsylvania Public School Spending

Public Union Democracy

Pennsylvania Next in Union Crosshairs

  • Nathan Benefield, Priya Brannick
  • January 24, 2014

Government union leaders are ramping up their attack messaging machine in Pennsylvania and planning a rally to bully state lawmakers as they did in Wisconsin and Michigan. But…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania Next in Union Crosshairs

Education

Win for Transparency in Public School Spending

  • Priya Brannick
  • January 22, 2014

How would you like to know what’s in a teachers’ contract before your school district passes it—and locks in spending—for four years? And how would you like to track how…

Media

Read More: Win for Transparency in Public School Spending