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HARRISBURG (Sept. 24, 2018) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, commented today on action taken in the state House Labor and Industry Committee to advance House Bill 2571 and House Bill 2593.
Both bills are aimed at reducing union membership following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which prohibits public employers from deducting fair share fees from non-members.
House Bill 2571 would require public employers to notify non-union members every pay period that their membership in a union is voluntary and not a condition of employment. House Bill 2593 would put measures in place designed to encourage more public-sector union members to resign from their union.
“Both proposals are wholly unnecessary in light of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and PSEA’s extensive efforts to comply with it. PSEA has notified former fee payers, stopped the collection of fair share fees from non-members, and in some cases refunded fee amounts, among other actions.
“The mandate in House Bill 2571 is one-sided, focused exclusively on telling a group of public employees about their right to not join a union. Public employees may also choose to join a union, as the vast majority of school district bargaining unit employees have chosen to do. At the very least, this bill should be amended to inform non-union members of their full rights, including their right to join a union.
“The changes in House Bill 2593 are part of a relentless effort by some state lawmakers to weaken an association of educators that advocates for strong public schools and a world-class education for every student. The good news is that PSEA members understand that a strong union is in their best interests and the best interests of their students.”
An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 181,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania. Prior to the Janus ruling, PSEA had 6,800 fee payers. Since the ruling, PSEA has seen a slight increase in membership overall since June.
McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District in Bucks County.