|State Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, led a public hearing on House Bill 2571. The legislation would protect the right of individuals who are not members of a public sector union from having to contribute to the representative union.
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, led a public hearing on House Bill 2571
, which would further protect the right of individuals who are not members of a public sector union from having to contribute to the representative union where they work.
Testifiers at the hearing included representatives from The Fairness Center, Americans for Fair Treatment, Americans for Prosperity, SEIU Local 668, Pennsylvania School Boards Association and Pennsylvania State Education Association.
“I think many employees are still under the assumption that they need to join a public union based on their occupation, which is not the case,” said Kauffman. “House Bill 2571 seeks to ensure all employees are informed of their right not to participate and pay dues. This would not prevent or dissuade anyone from joining a union, but simply let them know it is not mandatory.”
House Bill 2571 was introduced following the United States Supreme Court ruling that collecting forced union dues from nonmembers is a violation of those workers’ First Amendment rights. As such, public employees can no longer be forced to pay a fair share fee – or any other money they did not consent to pay – to a public labor union.
The legislation would direct public sector employers to notify nonunion members of the Supreme Court decision and that these once-required fees to the union are now strictly voluntary. Additionally, the legislation would inform employees that their employment status would not be affected by their decision of whether or not to join a union.
Along with notification of rights, the bill would also prohibit taxpayer resources, in the form of government payroll departments, from being used to collect voluntary fees from nonunion members. This helps ensure greater fairness by making sure taxpayer money is not used in support of public unions.
Kauffman noted that House Bill 2571 would not change the right of public sector unions to organize, bargain, or collect dues from consenting members. The bill and the Supreme Court decision have no impact on private-sector employers, employees or unions.
Testifiers answered questions from committee members about the impact of the bill on both employees and employers. A vote on the legislation by the House Labor and Industry Committee is expected this fall.
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman