Another Public Sector Union

(York, PA) Last week, I sent out an email blast describing the power of the largest public sector union in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, also known as the PSEA.

In today’s email, I will tell you about another public sector union that also represents Pennsylvania state employees.

This public sector union is the Service Employees International Union, also known as the SEIU.

I have reported in past email blasts about the layoffs of employees from the Department of Labor and Industry’s (L&I) Unemployment Call Centers and the issues surrounding the call centers.

The call center employees laid off were represented by the SEIU union.

On Tuesday, February 28th the Senate Appropriations Committee held a budget hearing with L&I, at which time the Secretary of L&I, Kathy Mandarino testified.

During the hearing, Secretary Mandarino commented on the layoffs and issues at the call centers and how callers to the call centers were either having their calls not answered or experiencing long wait times and that paperwork was not being processed in a timely manner.

Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) asked Secretary Manarino  if “all hands were on deck” and specifically, were managers and supervisors assisting with answering telephones and processing paperwork?

Secretary Mandarion responded that L&I has, “collectively bargained contracts” in place that prohibit managers and supervisors from performing  the work that is performed by union represented workers.

Senator Pat Browne (R-Allentown) then asked Secretary Mandarino some questions which she responded with this statement – “we have a situation where the patient is laying on the gurney bleeding to death and we must do something.”

In simple terms, the patient is on the gurney bleeding to death and only unionized employees can stop the bleeding, and managers and supervisors cannot do anything to stop the bleeding because there are collectively bargained labor contracts in place.

What I have just described is the power of a public sector union in Harrisburg – and there are many more public sector unions in Harrisburg so the issue of who can do what task is widespread.

I am curious – when I am the Governor of Pennsylvania, if I were to want to work in an Unemployment Call Center answering telephones or to process paperwork so I could learn first-hand how things worked in the call centers, would the SEIU union attempt to stop me from performing these tasks?

One of the management styles that I use every day in my private sector business world is to manage by walking around and talking to people and asking questions.

It is not uncommon in the private sector at times when businesses have seasonal business surges, or an emergency situation arises, that managers and supervisors pitch in to help people who compete a task each and every day to meet the needs of their customers.

I have continually reported that the public sector unions have a choke hold on Harrisburg and this email pretty well tells the story of the power of these unions in Harrisburg.

Something needs to change in Harrisburg or Pennsylvania will never move forward.

Thank you,

Scott Wagner