Speaker Pelosi announced that the House would pass a resolution allowing staff to unionize if they wish.
Pelosi wrote in a dear colleague letter provided to PoliticusUSA:
First: the House will vote next week on Congressman Andy Levin’s resolution recognizing Congressional workers’ right to organize. When the House passes this resolution, we will pave the way for staffers to join in union if they so choose. Congressional staffers deserve the same fundamental rights and protections as workers all across the country, including the right to bargain collectively.
Second: I am pleased to announce that, pursuant to the statutory authority of the Speaker in 2 U.S.C. 4532, the House will for the first time ever set the minimum annual pay for staff at $45,000. The deadline to implement this new Pay Order is September 1, 2022, and additional guidance is forthcoming.
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. This is also an issue of fairness, as many of the youngest staffers working the longest hours often earn the lowest salaries.
Young staffers have brutal jobs in the Capitol. They work long hours for very low pay. Washington, DC is a very expensive place to live, so the idea of establishing a minimum salary will help those workers make ends meet a little easier. Plus, Congress, just like the rest of the government, is constantly fighting an uphill battle against the private sector to retain staff.
Recognizing the staffers’ right to organize is ideologically consistent.
Democrats can’t claim to support the right to collective bargaining if they don’t allow their own staffers to do the same.
The House is sending a message to the nation about the importance of collective bargaining as Democrats continue to help boost unions.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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