The House leadership has scheduled a vote on a resolution to allow House staffers unionization, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.California), announced Friday. The announcement It lasts three monthsAfter the first announcement by congressional workers that they were joining unions.
Rep. Andy Levin’s (D-Michigan) resolutionThe law, which was introduced shortly after workers made their union efforts public in Feb, would allow workers to start unionizing office by office. Some Democrats, including Pelosi, have voiced their support for the effort, but it’s as yet unclear whether it will have enough votes to pass.
The Congressional Workers Union, (CWU), pressured legislators to approve the resolution in response to the announcement of the upcoming election. “Next week, the credibility of lawmakers will be put to the test. Will our bosses finally lead by example?” the union said in a statement. “With this vote, every member of Congress will have the opportunity to grant their own workers the right to organize and bargain collectively, free from retaliation.”
“We welcome and look forward to the vote, and we expect that every member who has stood up for workers’ rights will vote for our right to form a union,” the union continued. “If Democrats are For the People, we are people too.”
Levin was thrilled by the news. “I’m excited that my resolution to grant House staffers the right to unionize and bargain collectively will be considered on the House Floor next week,” he said. “Congressional staff have waited long enough. Let’s go!”
CWU has been in existence for over a decade. They organized last month. sent a letterPelosi is being urged to vote on the resolution. Staffers have waited for too long to be allowed unionize. (The legislation that sets the groundwork for staffers’ unions passed nearly three decades ago, but was never implemented.)
The union says that workers often face abusive conditions at work, as they’re expected to work long hours and for low pay. Conditions are especially bad for non-white staffers, who say that they feel as though there’s no room for advancement for them. Non-whites are already in the minority among congressional staffThe majority of staff are white and many have reported experiencing it. Racism at Work.
Pelosi announced for the first time that she is now settingHouse staffers will receive a minimum salary. The pay floor will be $45,000 effective September 1. This is slightly less than the Washington, D.C., living wage of around $49,000 for a single adult without children, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator, but still higherStaffers make more than $30,000 according to some reports.
“With a competitive minimum salary, the House will better be able to retain and recruit excellent, diverse talent. Doing so will open the doors to public service for those who may not have been able to afford to do so in the past,” Pelosi said in a press release. “This is also an issue of fairness, as many of the youngest staffers working the longest hours often earn the lowest salaries.”
Capitol Hill has a high turnover rate. It reached an alarming 80% in one year. new highLast year. There is a high rate of so-called “short-term unemployment” due to low pay and long working hours. brain drain among congressional staff – Often highly qualified Individuals – with many leaving for private sector jobs with higher pay.