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HARRISBURG (Jan. 31, 2017) – Jerry Oleksiak, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said legislation approved today by the state Senate State Government Committee is a politically motivated attack on working people and their labor unions.
Senate Bill 166 would prohibit public employees from voluntarily having union dues deducted from their paychecks if those dues support advocacy work, which means that PSEA members would be prohibited from using payroll deduction to speak out for their schools, students, and professions.
“This is politics, pure and simple. It’s about silencing the voices of ordinary Pennsylvanians by trying to weaken the unions that speak out for them.
“This is one of the first bills senators have voted this session, and that fact alone speaks volumes about some lawmakers’ priorities. We have real problems to solve in Pennsylvania. This isn’t one of them.
“Payroll deduction costs public employers nothing, because payroll systems are automated. So, this doesn’t save the taxpayers a dime. That’s why the motive here is so transparent.
“This is about silencing working people by attacking their unions, and it shows a complete disrespect for working people and the unions that work so hard to speak out for them.
“If you’re for working people, there’s only one way to vote on this bill – ‘No.’”
Oleksiak is a special education teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.