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Unions still expect anti-union payroll deduction legislation to re-appear in fall legislative session


AUGUST 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Unions still expect anti-union payroll deduction legislation to re-appear in fall legislative session


REGION, July 19th- Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett is struggling to energize the conservative base of his political party and trails Democratic nominee Tom Wolf by around 20 percentage points according to the latest polling. Mr. Corbett is continues to be receiving pressure from the party’s right to push legislation that would allow public sector workers to opt-out paying union dues in the fall legislative session.

Anti-union groups have spent thousands of dollars on mailings and lobbying to attempt to get House Bill (HB 1507) and Senate Bill (SB 1034) passed by the legislature that would prohibit the payroll deduction of union dues and fair-share fees of government workers. Should the legislation pass, the bill will force unions to represent non-members without any meaningful way to collect fees for the service of representation.

House Bill 1507 is being called by anti-union forces the “Payroll Protection” bill. The groups have been claiming, without facts, that taxpayers are paying for union dues collection for public employees and that teachers and state workers are being forced to contribute to political and legislative activism.

However, automatic payroll deduction of union dues is not mandated by any law rather it is bargained for during labor contract negotiations, the same as any other provision within a collective bargaining agreement.

The anti-union group, the Commonwealth Foundation, has falsely stated that taxpayer resources are being used to collect political campaign contributions.

However, any financial cost occured by any government for the collection of political contributions by union members is reimbursed by the union.

Also, before any contribution is deducted for political purposes by a union, the individual public employee must first sign a card requesting the contribution be taken from their paycheck.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg released the list of State Republican legislators that have indicated they will not support the legislation or is leaning against support.

Pennsylvania Senator Patrick Browne (Republican-16th Legislative District), which includes part of Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe Counties, is listed on the labor federation’s list as leaning against supporting the legislation.