This week, the House of Representative voted in favor of a legislation that allows Congressional staff to organize unions so they can bargain collectively. The move is touted as the biggest expansion of congressional workers’ rights after 3 decades, and made amidst a growing number of grievances put forward by close to 10,000 staffers.
The House resolution codified the rights of congressional employees, including aides working in lawmakers’ personal offices, in district offices and committees, to unionize and bargain collectively. The resolution is actually an extension of the rights previously given to employees in other Legislative branches such as the Library of Congress, the Capitol Police and professional tour guides.
Resolution Came After Capitol Saw the Highest Number of Turnovers in 2021
The resolution was introduced in February 2022 by Democratic House Representative Andy Levin of Michigan, who remarked that:
”To say we are standing up for the rights of people is somewhat hollow if our own workers here at the Capitol, are not entitled to such rights and privileges.”
Reports have it that House leaders have been aware of the low pay and other grievances that have been driving staffers out of Congress. Apparently affected by the destabilizing effects of the pandemic, the year 2021 saw the highest number of congressional staff turnovers, resulting in brain drain. Capitol staffers have been burned out while serving vital roles amidst the constant political strife among House leaders and lawmakers, which was marked historically by the January 06 upheaval