Rapp Participates in 2011-12 Right to Work Rollout to End Compulsory Unionism Across Pennsylvania

State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) joined in a state Capitol press conference with House members, leading Right to Work advocates from across the state and several negatively impacted individuals committed to ending the practice of compulsory unionism on Tuesday to officially reintroduce the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative (House Bills 50-53).   

Rapp’s Right to Work legislation, (House Bill 51) would repeal Pennsylvania’s School Employee “Agency Shop” Law (Act 84) to return the individual decision of whether or not to join or support a labor union to teachers and all other public education employees.  

“It is unconscionable for any level of government to allow union leaders to profit or maintain their existence by leeching off the earnings of another,” said Rapp, the 2008 recipient of the Pennsylvanians for Right to Work Statesmen of the Year Award.  “Approximately 75 percent of Pennsylvania school districts operate under forced union contracts, which means that 75 percent of all public school teachers must join or pay union dues in order to keep their jobs.   With nearly 85 percent of teacher strikes occurring in districts with forced union dues contracts, clearly Act 84 or Pennsylvania’s Agency Shop Law has done absolutely nothing to improve labor relations in our public schools.” 

Designed to protect the individual freedoms of Pennsylvania’s working citizens, schools and the economy by ending the practice of compulsory unionism, other specific legislation and bill sponsors comprising the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative are as follows:   

House Bill 50 Freedom of Employment Act—Representative Metcalfe

During the past decade, real personal income rose 28.3 percent in America’s 22 Right to Work states as compared to 14.7 percent in forced unionism states, such as Pennsylvania.   During the same time frame, the number of welfare recipients per 1,000 residents was 17.3 in forced unionism states, compared to just 7.6 in Right to Work states. 

Under Metcalfe’s free-standing Right to Work legislation, employment will no longer be conditional upon paying dues to a union.    

House Bill 52 Repeal of Act 84—(State Employee “Agency Shop” Law)—Representative Tom Creighton (R-Lancaster)

Since 1988, nearly 20,000 non-union state employees have lost their individual freedom to decide whether or not to join and support a union.   As a result, millions of dollars are collected annually by the state from non-union members in the form of compulsory union fees and sent directly to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other state employee union coffers at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers. 

House Bill 53 Repeal of Act 15—(Local Employee “Agency Shop” Law)—Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks)

This Right to Work protection bill would return the individual freedom of choice to all local, municipal, county and township employees to decide for themselves which private organizations they wish to support and prevent the collection of compulsory union dues. 

“As the power of labor leaders grows through the collection of forced union dues, students, parents and citizens from all walks of life are held hostage to their demands and almost always end up paying the ransom through even higher taxes,” said Rapp.   “Each of the Right to Work bills we’re introducing here today has the potential to provide all working Pennsylvania citizens with the freedom to join and support only those organizations that promote and share their values.” 

Governor Tom Corbett has recently indicated that he would sign into law, Rapp’s and all other Right to Work legislation that is sent to his desk    For the latest legislative updates, visit RepRapp.com

State Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Ty McCauslin

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