Posts tagged lobbyists
California lawmakers to let legislative staffers unionize
September 22, 2023 // “Unionizing staffers in legislative offices makes no sense because it creates more problems than it solves,” says Brigette Herbst, senior organizing director for AFFT and a former state legislative staffer. “How does unionization work with the long and unpredictable hours during a legislative session? How will elected officials handle untrustworthy staffers? Union organizers haven’t answered these important questions.” Herbst also raised concerns about unions’ connection to lobbying. Legislative staff often meet with lobbyists (including union lobbyists) on behalf of the lawmakers they work for, and Herbst believes that could result in an unfair allocation of state resources.
Unions have enough power in Albany; legislative staff shouldn’t unionize
August 5, 2022 // But a legislative staffers union isn’t the answer to problems in Albany, and the simple reason is politics. Public-sector union officials who collectively bargain with the government are negotiating with the very people they help elect. Now add another layer to that – union officials negotiating with the people they help elect who then vote on the laws for the rest of the state. Imagine I’m a newly elected state senator. I won a hard-fought and ugly election against the incumbent, and now I’m reporting to Albany to set up my office and learn the ropes. Without unions, elected officials are free to choose their staff, and these staffers are at-will employees – meaning that if elected officials don’t feel their staff are trustworthy, or are doing a good job, they can terminate them. Upon arriving in Albany, I meet my new staff and am surprised to learn that because the collective bargaining agreement says so, my new staff is my former opponent’s old staff. The very staff that worked hard to ensure I wasn’t elected. Can I trust them? I now have no choice.