Posts tagged Congressional Workers Union

    Senate Democrats offer resolution to let staff organize

    June 26, 2023 // Sen. Sherrod Brown and 19 of his Senate colleagues introduced a resolution Thursday that would extend legal protections to staffers who unionize. The group of pro-labor Democrats, plus Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, comes a year after the House adopted a resolution allowing its employees to organize. “Every worker should have a right to organize and have a voice in their workplace — and that is why I have spent my career fighting for the dignity of work,” Brown said in a statement. “With this resolution, we can finally secure the fundamental legal right of U.S. Senate staff to join together as union members to advocate for themselves and have a voice on the job.”

    After a year of organizing, staff union leaders look ahead to collective bargaining

    May 11, 2023 // While it’s been months since OCWR certified the first staff union elections, waiting times are normal in collective bargaining. According to a Bloomberg Law analysis, the average CBA takes 465 days to sign after a union election, although a good chunk (47 percent) take less than a year. “What's really interesting about this process is we are inventing the wheel of how negotiating works in Congress,” said Laudick. “Members of Congress are having to learn about what this relationship looks like. And those members, as much as they tout that they're very pro-union and that they are for unions, they've never sat at the negotiating table. They have no clue how this works.” That extends to some of the top-level congressional aides in supervisory positions, who are considered management under federal labor law. “We heard a lot of chiefs of staff asking if they could join [the union] last year,” said Laudick.

    Progressive group pressures congressional office on staff unionization rule

    March 21, 2023 // “Capitol Hill staffers’ unionization attempts are not about worker’s rights but building political power and political capital,” said Brigette Herbst, AFFT organizing director, “Unions today are a far cry from unions in the past because they care more about organizing ‘elite’ employees, such as university graduate students or Capitol Hill staffers, than taking care of blue-collar basic concerns. It’s just a new money grab from worker paychecks for union bosses to siphon to politicians.” “As with all public employees, when Capitol Hill staffers unionize, then they will directly negotiate collective bargaining agreements with the politicians that they work for and help elect,” she added, “how is this not a conflict-of-interest and a breach of public trust?”

    Unionize the Senate, staffers urge

    February 9, 2023 // Labor advocates are pushing the Senate to recognize staff unions, in the hopes of kickstarting progress in the chamber now that their House organizing efforts have stalled under Republican control. The Congressional Workers Union sent a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Rules and Administration Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Bernie Sanders, demanding a vote by the end of the month on a resolution authorizing Senate offices to unionize.

    Congressional Workers Union pushes back against GOP plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights

    January 5, 2023 // In the months since the resolution's passage, the Congressional Workers Union has successfully unionized the offices of Democratic Reps. Andy Levin (Michigan), Ro Khanna (California), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Melanie Stansbury (New Mexico), Cori Bush (Missouri), Chuy Garcia (Illinois), and Ted Lieu (California). They have also won a $45,000 base salary, overtime pay, and paid parental leave and negotiated the first contract for congressional workers in US history. Staffers don't plan to stop there, no matter what Republicans have to say about it: "We organized and unionized offices in the 117th Congress, and we’re going not to stop in the 118th Congress," the Congressional Workers Union tweeted.

    What’s next for staffer unions on the Hill?

    November 1, 2022 // Staff for another five members — all Democrats — have filed petitions with the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights to hold elections. Since the initial eight offices filed petitions when they were first allowed to in July, only two more have done so — staff for Reps. Dina Titus of Nevada and Sean Casten of Illinois. If all form unions, around 100 House staffers out of 9,100 will be represented by the Congressional Workers Union.

    Levin’s staff becomes first Capitol Hill office to unionize

    September 29, 2022 // Levin, who lost his primary and will only remain in office for the next three months, introduced the House resolution that passed along party lines in May and paved the way for congressional staffers to unionize. In a statement to The Hill, the Congressional Workers Union said it is “ecstatic to support these workers as we move to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract representative of workers’ needs for the first time in congressional history.” Besides Levin’s, seven other Democratic congressional offices voted in July to hold union elections. Those are: Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Chuy Garcia (Ill.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Melanie Stansbury (N.M.).

    A Legislative Staff Unionization Wave is Hitting Blue State Capitols

    August 8, 2022 // Frustrated by low pay and long hours, state house staffers in Massachusetts, California, New York and Washington state are seeking to organize. They hope to join their counterparts in Oregon, who became the first in the nation to unionize in 2021. The organizing effort in state capitols mirrors a similar push in Congress. In May, the Democratically-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution giving congressional staffers the legal right to negotiate over salaries, schedules, pay disparities, promotion policies and other workplace issues without the threat of retaliation. Since then, aides to eight progressive lawmakers have unionized. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Ruth Milkman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Senate President Karen Spilka,

    Unanswered questions surround unionizing effort by congressional staffers

    July 26, 2022 // For starters, congressional offices have different budgets from which to draw salaries for staff — and those amounts are fixed once decided annually. That makes bargaining across multiple personal member offices difficult, as even ideologically aligned members of Congress may have differences in their personnel budget and staffing structure. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, House Compensation and Diversity Study, Census Bureau, Massachusetts Institute of Technology