Miller, Delloso introduce legislation to update public labor laws

Bill would modernize regulations & bring in line with federal rules

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – In an effort to modernize and streamline Pennsylvania’s public labor regulations, state Reps. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, and David Delloso, D-Delaware, have introduced legislation to ensure the commonwealth’s public sector employees have similar rights and protections as their federal counterparts.

“Public sector unions are one of the great strengths of our commonwealth and have for generations been the bedrock our government is built on,” Miller said. “Especially over the last two years, these dedicated professionals have put themselves in danger to help others, from the classroom to the DMV and beyond. However, our state’s public labor law is out of date and needs to be modernized. Our legislation would do that and bring it in line with the rules and regulations pertaining to federal labor unions, and ensure that our system isn’t tilted against unionization.”

"Unions have a longstanding history of doing great work in Pennsylvania, both in the private and public sectors," Delloso said. "However, the need for leveling the playing field between the state and federal levels can't be understated. It's time we provide state workers with the same rights as their federal counterparts and make for stronger unions in the commonwealth."

Specifically, H.B. 2170 would amend the state’s Public Employee Relations Act to:

  • Mirror National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election timeframes to ensure timely votes;
  • Install deadlines for the processing of petitions and other hearings similar to the NLRB;
  • Provide greater flexibility to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in approving bargaining units that make sense along community of interest lines;
  • Expand bargaining rights to more workplace issues for more public sector employees;
  • Treat more public sectors equally by increasing bargaining topics; and 
  • Allows employees to make their own decisions regarding whether to cross a picket line.

House Bill 2170 has been referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee.