On the Record: Freedom to Negotiate Act


The Mean Green Machine
of AFSCME is on a roll. Earlier this month,
the Governor of Nevada signed a bill empowering 20,000 state employees
with collective bargaining rights. They now have a seat at the table to negotiate for a fair return on their work, for safer working conditions, and more. This is the biggest expansion
of collective bargaining rights for state employees
in any state since 2003. And it comes on the heels of a similar
win for Delaware state workers — improving their ability
to bargain for better wages. In Illinois,
AFSCME members endured a four-year reign of terror under
former Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner wouldn’t even
come to the table with us. But now, with a new
pro-worker governor in office, we have a tentative contract
that honors the contributions state employees make
to their communities. State employees in
Pennsylvania have reached a four-year tentative agreement
with the Commonwealth. Members are currently
voting on ratification, and preliminary results
are very positive. We’re also seeing progress
on the federal level. The Public Service Freedom
to Negotiate Act was just introduced in the
U.S. House of Representatives. This bill gives public employees
rights and protections enjoyed by those in the private sector. It requires public employers: To recognize unions when a majority
of employees want one; To bargain over wages, hours
and terms of employment; To provide access to a
dispute resolution mechanism; And to allow union members to voluntarily
deduct union dues from their paycheck. It was exactly a year ago that
the Supreme Court issued its decision in
Janus vs AFSCME. A lot of so-called experts
thought we couldn’t bounce back. They thought Janus
would be a knockout blow. They thought wrong. Instead,
we’re growing, surging, and winning. Now, we need to build
on the momentum. Call your member of Congress
at this number and tell them to co-sponsor the
Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. Tell them to unrig the economy by giving working people the power to take collective action
through a strong union. Tell them to give working people the
voice on the job they need and the basic respect they deserve.

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