Right to work

Dear editor:

In re: Opposition to “Right to Work” legislation proposed by Rep. Rapp.

Fair share is a fee for actual services; nothing more, nothing less.

Pennsylvania’s Fair Share Fee Law, which was held to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, is not compulsory unionism and it doesn’t allow creation of a union shop.

Fair Share Fees are not union dues.

The legal responsibilities of unions as exclusive bargaining representatives for employees -members and non-members- are significant.

Unions represent everyone covered by a collective bargaining agreement, even non-members.

What non-members pay is a fair share fee for bargaining and grievance services for their compensation, benefits and working conditions. Fair share individuals share in the costs for the benefits and services they receive by paying a fair portion for those benefits and services.

If unions do not represent non-members, they can be sued for breach of this duty of fair representation.

The tasks of representing the interests of all employees in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement and making certain it is followed are ongoing and difficult. This requires an expenditure of much time and money. I know this from my own negotiations experience with WCEA / WCSD contracts.

The services of expert negotiators, research staff, lawyers, and other administrative staff are often required, thereby adding to the costs. These are the costs that are covered by fair share fees.If a non-member employee is discharged from a job unfairly, the union has the legal duty to provide legal representation that may run into thousands of dollars for defense.

Once again, this type of legislation hits the vulnerable middle class of our Commonwealth. “Right to Work” is a misnomer as it limits the rights of the worker and promotes freeloading. And so I oppose Acts 50, 51, 52 and 53.

Karen Davis