Is the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council claiming they bought the allegiance of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state Supreme Court?
That’s what it sounds like in their job post for a new state legislative director. In the listing, the SEIU made clear just how much power they believe unions have over state affairs in Pennsylvania.
“Over the last 7 years, the combined power of the SEIU locals in Pennsylvania has transformed the commonwealth’s political landscape,” the description reads. “Prior to 2014, anti-worker forces held control of all three branches of Pennsylvania state government. Today, pro-worker forces control the governor’s office, the Supreme Court, and have cut the anti-worker majorities of the State Legislature in half.”
“With a fair redistricting process in 2022, and hopes of a pro-worker legislative majority within the decade, we could be on the precipice of a decade of pro-worker progressive governance,” the post says.
The SEIU Pennsylvania State council represents 80,000 government and private-sector employees in four locals – Local Unions SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, SEIU Local 32BJ, SEIU Local 668, and PA Joint Board of Workers United.
SEIU spends its members’ dues directly on politics, including on lobbying and electioneering. They also collect money through their Political Action Committees to help get friendly politicians and judges elected. A Commonwealth Foundation study showed public sector unions, including the SEIU, spent $16.7 million in Pennsylvania during the 2019-2020 election, placing unions among the most powerful special interests in the state.
The job posting gives some details on the union’s strategy for engaging with lawmakers.
“A person in this role should be prepared to run an offensive legislative strategy to make broad-based gains for union members and working families across the state, while simultaneously being able to build a legislative firewall to protect against legislative attacks on union rights,” it says. “A legislative director will also be responsible for marrying our inside the building strategy with legislative grassroots advocacy campaigns led by SEIU members and partner organizations in all corners of the commonwealth.”