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Pennsylvania: Rank 46

Pension Liability - Total $111.3 billion6 - Per household $1,5501

Union Membership Density:

  • Total-14.7%
  • Private Sector-9.3%
  • Public Sector-49.9%

Right to Work:

  • Forced unionism 

Government Sector Collective Bargaining Laws:

Paycheck Protection Law:

  • No Provision

Pending Secret Ballot Protection:

Forced Card Check:

  • No Provision

Government Sector Binding Arbitration Provisions:

Public Access to Government Bargaining Sessions:

Project Labor Agreement Bans:

  • No Provision

Government Employee Strike Policy:

Unions and Labor Policy

Labor unions maintain a political stranglehold on legislation in Pennsylvania despite representing fewer than two out of 10 workers. Their strength is the product of decades of favorable federal and state laws that are extraordinarily resistant to reform. The result is that organized labor and collective bargaining play a dominant role in Pennsylvania’s business climate and government.


1.      Redefine “prevailing wage” laws that require the state to contract union labor, which inflate costs by as much as 40 percent, to the average market wage in a region

2.      Enact a right-to-work law to free all employees from being compelled to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment.

3.      Outlaw strikes for all government employees to protect taxpayers and citizens.

4.      Discontinue forced, automatic dues deductions in which government operates as the collection agent for the union, a private organization.

5.      Enact “paycheck protection” laws to guard against workers’ dues being used for political purposes they do not support.

6.      Prohibit taxpayer-funded lobbying in which tax dollars are used to support higher spending and additional taxes.

Pennsylvania Labor News

  • Harrisburg Receiver Unveils Recovery Plan Posted on: February 6, 2012
    By Kris Maher, The Wall Street Journal A state-appointed financial custodian released a recovery plan for Harrisburg on Monday, moving Pennsylvania’s capital closer to resolving $300 million in debt and ending a long-running dispute between Harrisburg’s mayor and the city council. The plan, presented by David Unkovic, Harrisburg’s receiver, involves the sale or leasing of [...]
  • Neshaminy teacher's letter to union, claiming NFT harassment Posted on: January 27, 2012 Here is Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb’s note to the press about teacher David Ferrara, followed by the letter by the high school history teacher and assistant football coach. The union does not comment on internal matters, a spokesman said. Webb’s note Yesterday the Neshaminy School Board was made aware of an incident at our [...]
  • Judge Orders Bailout of Union-Dominated School District Posted on: January 24, 2012
    Education Action Group, These days a lot of school budgets are being held together by the accounting equivalents of bailing wire and duct tape. But one Pennsylvania school district is so broke that it needs the state to provide the wire and the tape. The Chester Upland School District began this week with only $100,000 in [...]
  • Teachers strike pushes Neshaminy aide 'over the edge' Posted on: January 12, 2012
    By Bill Reed, Margie McCurdy has worked for the Neshaminy School District for 13 years, the last 10 of them as an aide supervising disciplinary students at Poquessing Middle School. As a member of the 463-member Neshaminy Educational Support Professional Association, she gets paid by the hour — only when students are in school. So when the 654 members [...]
  • Teachers' Union Dues at Leisure Posted on: January 5, 2012
    By Priya Abraham, Commonwealth Foundation A full-time teacher and member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association pays $654 a year in union dues to state, national and local affiliates of the union. While part-time teachers and other school workers such as janitors and secretaries pay less, nearly all must pay “fair share fees” to keep [...]

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