The House Labor and Industry Committee passed House Bill 785 (Rep. Kate Klunk, R-York County) on a 15-10 vote on a party lines.
HB 785 would have required public employers to inform new and returning public employees that they don’t have to join a union. The bill also creates an unfunded mandate to public employers to produce materials and notify workers on a yearly basis that they do not have to join or pay dues to a union.
AFTPA and the entire labor movement oppose HB 785 strongly.
HB 785 replaces legal neutrality with anti-union bias by mandating that employers notify workers of only one possible choice -- the choice not to join or pay dues to a union. Under current law, public employees are non-members by default. The notice requirements in HB 785 are unnecessary, redundant and are a statutory intervention to weaken the voices of teachers, first responders, highway crews, nurses, corrections officers, social service workers and other public sector employees who serve commonwealth residents. Such notices are coercive and the content and language are biased, not neutral.
Working with other unions and labor-friendly GOP legislators, we kept the bill from coming to the floor for a vote this week, but it is scheduled to be heard in the House on Monday, March 25 with amendments.
Similar bills were proposed last year after the U.S. Supreme Court's Janus v. AFSCME decision, which made it illegal for unions to collect fair share or agency fees from non-members. These bills are designed to weaken and eventually suffocate unions out of existence in Pennsylvania. AFTPA strongly opposes this bill. If you are represented by a Republican, please urge your state representative to vote no on House Bill 785.