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Delaware Legislative Staff Announce Plans for Union

January 18, 2020

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DOVER, Del.—Delaware legislative staff announced their plans to form what they call the first bipartisan state legislative union in the country Jan. 14, just before the opening of the 2020 legislative session. The Delaware General Assembly Union said it would affiliate with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 81, and asked the leadership of both houses to recognize it voluntarily. Organizers said about 50 people have signed up, and that the union would comprise Democratic, Republican, and nonpartisan staff. Democratic leaders stopped short of saying they would recognize it, but a spokesperson for House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf said they would respect the legal process, and Senate Democrats said they had “a lengthy record of supporting the rights of workers to collectively bargain.” Republican leaders said they had not been informed in advance. “We recognize the right of our employees to collectively organize,” House Minority Leader Danny Short and Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker said in a joint statement. “There are still many questions that need to be answered regarding this proposal.” AFSCME Council 81 executive director Mike Begatto told Delaware State News that the organizing campaign wasn’t sparked by discontent with current working conditions. Read more

January 18, 2020

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