- The House of Representatives passed a resolution giving the green light to unionize its employees.
- The office and team of each individual member should create their own individual unit.
- It was a victory for Hill employees who argued for more power to improve their work environment.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday night allowing the employees’ union to launch for the first time in the room’s 233 – year history.
Referendum 217-202, passed with the support of Democrats and Republicans. The resolution does not need to be passed in the Senate.
If enough offices and staff need to streamline their workplaces, it could dramatically restore the balance of power between members of Congress – who currently hold all the cards – and their staff.
“The resolution opens the door for the 9,000 workers on the hill here to trade union without fear of retaliation,” Andy Levine, a Michigan Democrat who supported the resolution and was a former labor organizer, told Insider in a statement. “I’m proud to present these results to staff across the church.”
In 1995 Congress passed a law allowing its employees to form unions. But that means the House and Senate must first pass resolutions extending legal protections to their legislative staff. Neither of them did so until the House passed a resolution on Tuesday. Some congressional agencies, such as the Library of Congress, are already represented by unions.
This resolution applies only to individual members of the Council, groups and staff for non-partisan support offices. The Senate has not considered a resolution affecting its workers, and it is unclear whether it will do so before the midterm elections. The Philippester rule of the room would make any move, such as defeating Republican opposition, difficult.
The House resolution did not create a union for congressional employees. On the contrary, it extends legal protections to employees, preventing their employers from retaliating against them if they choose to form unions, which gives House employees the green light to begin organizing in the open.
The Congress Workers UnionDrove the drive for a resolution, praising the effort in an interview ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
“We want to ensure that the next generation of Congress workers perform better than us so that they can better serve the American people and meet the needs of our constituencies,” said a member of Congress ‘Workers’ Union. .
(Congress workers’ union representatives are anonymous because of concerns that they will be professionally retaliated against for organizing. Their identities are known to the insider.)
The resolution will accomplish the unprecedented process by which the staff in each individual member’s office, team and qualified non-partisan office must create their own units. With 435 offices of individual legislators and dozens of qualified teams, the process can take months or even years.
The Congress Workers’ Union, which currently operates as an independent union, will act as an umbrella body to support each individual bargaining unit.
Employee success is recent in the growing wave of Democratic workers’ union efforts to streamline their workplaces, including campaigns, party organizations and private political organizations.
“We look forward to meeting at the negotiating table to negotiate a long list of improvements needed to ensure living wages, decent working conditions and equity in Capitol Hill,” Levine told a news conference Wednesday morning.
Status of the Congress Union
Tuesday’s legislative victory was the culmination of a year-long underground organization in which the Congress Workers’ Union and their allies sought to gain more power over their working conditions.
It also follows more than two years of anonymous accounts published by the Instagram account of Dear White Staffers, which narrates workplace horror stories from within the halls of Congress.
In February, union organizers went public House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House staff supported the union The reporter answered a question. Shortly afterwards, the Congress Workers’ Union began working with their allies Levine signed the resolution as a sponsor.
Levine confirmed to Insider that he had enacted the law in conjunction with the Congress Workers’ Union.
Capitol Hill staff for many years Salary starting at as low as $ 20,000, Many are only there to take on second jobs. Company There are some reliable ways for employees to experience other forms of sexual harassment or workplace abuse; The possibility of being blacklisted in politics for speaking out against a member or manager helped to enable a culture of silence around bad behavior.
The Congress Workers’ Union, during its tenure, consisted of about 30 members, primarily Democrats. It launched its efforts in the wake of the epidemic and the January 6 uprising, which had a profound impact on the mental and physical well-being of the mountain staff. Insider reports of widespread burnout and mental illness As they calculated the consequences of chronic epidemics and workplace problems, congressional staff enjoyed the rest of the year.
That year’s stress seems to have taken a measurable number. By 2021, Hill staff departures reached a 20-year high, and departures increased by 55% over 2020. By lawIt monitors data about Congress employees.
“At some point, there was this recognition that these conditions were not going to change,” another member of the Congress Workers Union told Insider. “Members of Congress are not going to wake up one day and start paying their employees a living wage. It must collectively collectively demand these changes.”
“One way to do that is a union,” the person said.
Are you a Capitol Hill employee trying to organize your office or team? We would love to hear from you. Email Reporter Kyla Epstein firstname.lastname@example.org
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