Thank you for contacting my office to question why I voted against the legislation that would enact “Mary’s Law”, also known as paycheck protection. This legislation has been introduced as Senate Bill 501. To be accurate, I did not vote against Senate Bill 501. On March 2, 2015, I voted against a proposed amendment to the bill. Senate Bill 501 has not yet been advanced for a vote on final passage. I do, however, intend to vote against the bill should that event occur.
I believe Senate Bill 501 unfairly singles out state and school employees. Union members and non-members already enjoy a well-established legal right not to contribute to union political spending. Unions cannot force employees to have money for representation or political activities automatically deducted from their paycheck without authorization. Paycheck-protection legislation does not provide workers’ with any rights they do not currently enjoy, but it deprives choice from workers who want a union with an effective political voice. Finally, I cannot justify Senate Bill 501 on the rationale that it will save money, since payroll deduction has almost zero cost to taxpayers.
Thank you again for contacting me in regard to my position on this issue.
Thomas J. McGarrigle, Senator
OK, some background. Mary’s Law is named for Mary Trometter, a professor at Pennsylvania College of Technology, in Williamsport and a 20-year member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association which is the state’s main teachers union.
Mary had no plans on voting for Wolf. She initially ripped it up and threw it in the trash then started thinking about it. She investigated and found out that the letter was sent using money from the NEA Advocacy Fund.
Now, Sen. McGarrigle is correct in the sense that that state law says “no employe(e) organization shall make any contribution out of the funds of the employe(e) organization either directly or indirectly to any political party or organization or in support of any political candidate for public office.”
So, um, why did Mary’s husband get the letter? The union says the law doesn’t apply to communications with members of the union. LOL.
Mary also found that the PSEA publication The Voice, which is funded with union dues, took a strong pro-Wolf stand. She thought that was kind of unfair as well as she obviously couldn’t stop her dues from being used to pay for the union’s newsletter.
How about Sen. McGarrigle, you do what’s really fair and just end the automatic deduction of dues from public employee paychecks? If the union actually provides value for its members it will do just fine. If not, well, look what happened in Wisconsin.
People not being made to pay for something they don’t believe is the definition of fairness.
Question Sen. McGarrigle: If Scott Walker is the Republican nominee will you campaign for him.
Here is Mary Trometter explaining Mary’s Law: