By Jerry Silberman, PASNAP Senior Staff Representative
HB 1507, recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, would make it illegal for public employers, such as Temple, to deduct Union dues from a worker’s paycheck. Should this bill pass, reps at our Temple locals would have to collect dues by hand from each and every member.
There is no purpose for this bill except to eliminate the right to organize among public sector unions. Try to imagine for a moment, what would be involved if you, as a Union rep, were responsible for hand collecting dues from every member in your unit, every month. How much time and energy would this take away from the time our reps give to enforcing our contract, and educating members? How would this burden affect our ability to organize at contract time? Given that a substantial portion of all union members in Pennsylvania are public employees, this would undercut the living standards of all working people.
This law would give management a huge opportunity to constantly agitate against the Union, and divide workers, which is precisely why this bill was introduced. The impetus for this bill came from ALEC, a think tank funded by conservative billionaires, the Koch brothers among others, to remove all laws which obstruct them from making as much money as possible. It was presented as an incentive to the Republican party in Pennsylvania with the payoff for passage being huge checks from out of state for campaign funding.
We need to make sure this bill does not pass. Several Republicans who do not endorse the extremism of the Tea Party have said they will vote no, but there are not yet enough of them. If we cannot stop attacks on our basic right to organize, how can we expect to win pro-active legislative battles, such as the workplace violence or staffing bills?
In the longer run, we need to make sure that we elect Representatives and Senators to Harrisburg who will not support the anti-worker politics of people like Tom Corbett, regardless of their party.
The following representatives have not made it clear that they will oppose this legislation, and we need to make it clear to them that supporting 1507 could cost them their jobs.
If you live in the district of one of our target Representatives please be ready to write or talk to them about this issue now!
Should the measure come to a vote, even if it fails, we need to remember, and remove from office, those who voted for it.