EDDIE DAY PASHINSKI, MEMBER COMMITTEES
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
27 EAST WING DRUG AND ALCOHOL .
P.O. BOX 202121 MAJORITY CHAIRMAN
HARRISBURG, PA 17120-2121 INSURANCE
AGING AND OLDER ADULT SERVICES
FAX: (717) 772-2284
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
DISTRICT OFFICE: VETERANS AFFAIRS AND
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152 S. PENNSYLVANIA AVE.
WILKES·BARRE, PA 18702 GAMING OVERSIGHT
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
TO: All Members of the House of Representatives
FROM: Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
DATE: January 26, 2009
SUBJECT: Co-sponsorship of Legislation -Religiously-Affiliated School Employees (previously HB 2626)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act to provide lay
teachers and other lay employees of private, religiously-affiliated schools the right to join, or not join, labor
organizations. This legislation was previously known as House Bill 2626 of the 2007-2008 Legislative Session.
As you may recall, I introduced this legislation in response to concerns that collective bargaining rights of lay
workers in religiously-affiliated schools were being overlooked. Currently, public and private employees alike
maintain the right to elect union representation and enjoy the benefits and job security that such membership
often provides. These rights have been protected by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA), as well as the
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and comparable state laws.
Unfortunately, when the PLRA was written in 1937, teachers at religiously-affiliated schools were typically
members of religious orders, and little, if any, practical consideration was given to specifically ensure that
employees of these schools would be afforded coverage under the act. Now, in 2009, as staffs of religious
schools are overwhelmingly comprised of lay employees, it only seems prudent and fair to enact legislation that
guarantees these workers the collective bargaining rights that are already provided to other private and public-
sector employees. These workers surely deserve the ability to work under the certainty of a labor contract, to
negotiate fair wages and benefits, and to seek fair representation on employment issues, like other employees
in our state.
The issue has now drawn much media attention and grassroots support, particularly throughout the
communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I hope that you will join in the growing effort to move this
important legislation forward.
If you would like to be added as a co-sponsor, please contact Lauren in my Harrisburg office, at
@ PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER