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HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2017) – Jerry Oleksiak, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today after the state Senate passed a bill that would prohibit public employees from voluntarily having part of their union dues deducted from their paychecks.
Senate Bill 166 would prohibit public employees from voluntarily having union dues deducted from their paychecks if those dues support advocacy work. That means that PSEA members would be prohibited from using payroll deduction to speak out for their schools, students, and professions.
“More and more, money is flowing to the richest 1 percent while middle-class Pennsylvanians lose ground,” Oleksiak said. “Lawmakers should focus more on growing middle-class paychecks, and less on irrelevant issues like how money is deducted from middle-class paychecks.
“This bill is just an attempt to silence 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. This is a bullying tactic. Period.
“We have real problems to solve in Pennsylvania, and this isn’t one of them. Lawmakers need to get to work on issues that impact middle-class Pennsylvanians.”
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.