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Bill raising teachers' salaries stalled

A push to raise the state's minimum teacher salary has become a bipartisan effort, but it appears to not be enough to ensure a key piece of Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal will make it into the final version of the spending document.

PA House-Senate appoint committee chairs

The Pennsylvania House and Senate have named the following legislators as majority and minority chairs of their committees. The retirements and election losses brought major leadership changes to several committees.

Where we stand: AFTPA opposes ESA/Vouchers

The Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee is considering Senate Bill 2 establishing taxpayer-funded education savings accounts, which is another name for vouchers. AFT Pennsylvania opposes ESAs, vouchers, education tax credits and other gimmicks that divert taxpayer money from public schools that serve the majority of Pennsylvania's children to unaccountable private schools and service providers that serve a few students.

AFTPA opposes arming teachers and staff

AFT Pennsylvania opposes any legislation that would permit school and college faculty and staff to be armed while in classrooms and on campuses. "If educators had wanted careers in law enforcement, we would have enrolled in the Police Academy, instead of a School of Education," said AFTPA President Ted Kirsch. "Our job is to educate children and make their lives better." AFTPA supports commonsense programs and resources to make sure that children are safe while at school and on college campuses. Download AFTPA's position.

GOP stacks a committee to move ESA/voucher bill

The latest attempt by PA Republicans to pass an education savings account/voucher bill (Senate Bill 2) got a major boost this week when an anti-voucher senator on the Senate Education Committee left the committee and was replaced by an SB 2  sponsor. Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, who voted NO on the ESA/DeVos voucher bill in an unrecorded, tie committee vote, resigned as a member of the Senate Education Committee and is being replaced by Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Franklin, SB 2's sponsor. 

We did it! Payroll deduction bill is defeated

Thanks to the advocacy by AFT Pennsylvania members and the entire labor movement in Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Dec. 12,  the House defeated Senate Bill 166, an anti-union bill that would have prohibited public employers from negotiating to deduct voluntary PAC contributions from public employees’ paychecks.

PA House approves charter 'reform' bill

Changes to Pennsylvania's charter reform bill are long overdue, but House Bill 97 misses the mark by a long shot. The House approved the bill, which AFT Pennsylvania opposes, and sent it to the Senate. 

Hey Harrisburg: We can 'protect' our own paychecks!

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a so-called "paycheck protection" bill that redefines normal union activities such as legislative advocacy and non-partisan voter registration drives as "political" and then bar unions from using automatic payroll deductions to fund those activities.