Posts tagged Office of Congressional Workplace Rights
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.”
Staff for U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia takes first step toward forming a union
June 19, 2023 // A staff member familiar with the effort said staffers are happy with Garcia’s leadership but wanted an avenue to secure standard work protections and to negotiate with managers, including Garcia’s longtime chief of staff, John Chapa Gorczynski. Garcia’s Washington-based deputy chief of staff, Courtney Broderick, and district deputy chief of staff, Chris McCarthy, are also included in office management.
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?”
House Republicans’ attempt to block staffer unions may have missed mark
March 13, 2023 // The House began allowing members’ staff to form unions last year by adopting a resolution that authorized regulations from the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. Republicans opposed the measure at the time, and after taking control of the House, they adopted a rule that said the “regulations adopted pursuant to [last year’s resolution] shall have no force or effect” during the current Congress. While that might seem to nullify aides’ ability to form new unions, the language is actually ineffective, said Kevin Mulshine, author of the Demand Progress Education Fund report and a former senior adviser and counsel at OCWR.
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.
Opinion: Newsom, Like Biden, Believes Selling out to Unions Is His Path to the Presidency
August 5, 2022 // Newsom’s resume is littered with union sellouts — which goes a long way toward explaining how he’s managed to turn the Golden State into an open cesspool — but the most recent was his approval on June 27 of a state budget that has the potential to force taxpayers to subsidize union dues while handing California’s labor unions an unprecedented handout to shore up their Janus-depleted finances. The so-called “Workers’ Fairness Tax Credit” would convert union dues from a tax deduction to a tax credit. The budget earmarks $200 million to “begin” a policy of paying union members for paying union dues John Moorlach, Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association, Dan Walters, CalMatters, California Labor Federation, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, House of Representatives,
Will California Legislature allow its workers to unionize?
July 26, 2022 // Just last month, for instance, language was slipped into a very lengthy budget trailer bill declaring the state’s intention to provide union members who do not itemize their income tax deductions with a refundable tax credit offsetting their dues. In effect, under the “Workers Tax Fairness Credit,” as it’s dubbed, taxpayers would underwrite some or all of the dues members pay to their unions. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Assemblyman Mark Stone, Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, Assembly Bill 1577, sexual harassment, HR1096, Rep. Ro Khanna,
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
Authorizing congressional unions won’t end Democrats’ labor troubles
May 17, 2022 // Earlier this year, after the Democrat-controlled Washington state Legislature quietly killed a pair of bills extending collective bargaining privileges to legislative aides, about 100 Democrat staffers staged an unprecedented sickout. Facing a PR nightmare, panicked Democrat leadership quickly reintroduced and passed legislation allowing staff to unionize and bargain, but not until 2024, after a new “Office of State Legislative Labor Relations” spends millions of taxpayer dollars trying to figure out how to make it work in practice.