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House Votes To Let Aides Unionize, Bargain Collectively

Published Sunday, May 22, 2022
by Kevin Freking/The Associated Press Via
House Votes To Let Aides Unionize, Bargain Collectively

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The House has approved a resolution that will pave the way for letting Congressional Staff join a Union and engage in collective bargaining, a move that proponents say would enhance the ability of Aides from Low-and-Middle-Income Families to make ends meet in a region with steep housing costs.

U.S. Representative Andy Levin (Democrat-Michigan), who sponsored the resolution, said that if Workers have more of a say about working conditions and pay, it will lead to lower turnover and make Congress a more effective institution.

He also called the ability to Unionize an equity issue since many people can't afford to consider a job in Washington because the cost of housing is so great.

“You don't want only children of the privileged to be able to work here because somehow their family can support them," Levin said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also addressed the pay issue by recently setting a minimum annual pay for House staff at $45,000.

The median salary for Staff working for an individual Lawmaker was $50,000 last year, according to the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“By empowering Staffers to advocate for themselves and each other, we take an important step to ensure the House is best able to serve the American People,” Pelosi said.

Lawmakers set the pay for their Aides and that money comes from an allowance made available to each Member to cover rent, equipment, salary and other expenses incurred in performing their official duties.

Collective bargaining would take place at the employing office level, which means that it will be done separately between members and House committees and their Staffs.

However, there will not be one Bargaining Unit covering most or all House Employees.

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