Public Sector OSHA

The NWPA Area Labor Federation is asking organized labor, union friends, and community groups to help us convince our Legislators of the need for the passage of Public Sector OSHA. This is not a partisan or affiliation issue. Public  Sector workers are firefighters, police, teachers, some healthcare workers, counselors, municipal workers, state and county prison workers. Forty-nine (49) years ago, when OSHA was created, the legislators found it necessary to carve out the public sector employees from coverage and protections under OSHA. By doing that they effectively created an injustice to the public sector workers that we need to address. The oversight for the safety of workers in our state should not be determined by their type of employer.

We need to prove, there is interest from a significant portion of the members of organized labor and our communities, and that there is a need to have public sector workers covered by OSHA. WE CAN DO THIS WITH YOUR HELP!

Proving the interest in the passage can be accomplished by;

  • Having the members of our Unions and Community Groups pass a resolution in support of Public Sector OSHA.
  • Constituents visiting and  expressing their support and explaining to our state legislators that this issue can be rectified at their level with the passage of HB 1082 and SB 464, and
  • Labor and Community Leaders writing Letters to the Editors in support of this issue to educate and build public support.

Proving the need for Public Sector OSHA can be accomplished by:

  • Sharing the stories about all of the public sector workers who have lost their lives or have been seriously injured on the job. Examples include Jake Schwab, Jacqueline Ohly, and Tyler Covato in Erie County. We are sure over the last decade there are more examples throughout our state, please share the information that you may know about any other public sector workers that unfortunately lost their lives and were not covered by OSHA, with us.
  • We must show that is not a problem just in Erie County!
  • The number of deaths and serious injuries does not need to be significant, they just need to show a need throughout the state.

With HB 1082 & SB 464 both addressing the injustice of Public Sector Workers remaining uncovered by OSHA for more than 49 years, while private-sector workers performing the same or similar jobs enjoy the protections of OSHA. We have a realistic opportunity to successfully pass these bills and correct this injustice.

We have provided a copy of a resolution below for your consideration. We hope after reviewing and discussing it that you will pass the resolution at the bottom of this article.

We encourage you to make additional copies to use or share with others.  Note: AFT 3975 New Castle Teachers chose to have everyone sign the resolution they passed to show their Solidarity on this issue. Thank you in advance for your help on this matter, the circulation of the Resolution Supporting Public Sector OSHA -HB 1082 & SB 464.

We will be hand-delivering as many resolutions to our legislators in early November. Please return the copies of the resolutions with signatures to NWPA ALF at 1276 Liberty St Ste 2, Franklin, PA  16323, or call 814-360-8336 to arrange for Rosann to pick them up.

The links below are for your convenience.

https://unionhall.aflcio.org/file/18155/download?token=C_LIQQNi

https://unionhall.aflcio.org/file/18154/download?token=7cnkA8_R

INTRODUCTION: Forty-nine (49) years ago, when OSHA was created, the legislators found it necessary to carve out the public sector employees from coverage and protections under OSHA. By doing that they effectively created an injustice to the public sector workers that we need to address. The oversight for the safety of workers in our state should not be determined by their type of employer. This issue is non-partisan and non-affiliation.
WHEREAS, OSHA also offers education and assistance to workers and employers to make their working environment safer for all; and
WHEREAS, local and state government employees, in Pennsylvania, are generally not covered by OSHA, even though they perform similar job functions and are exposed to similar risks as private-sector employees; and
WHEREAS, the Jake Schwab Worker’s Safety Bill (HB 1028 and SB 464) would extend protections similar to those provided for under OSHA to local and state government employees in Pennsylvania, at no or minimal cost to local governments; and
WHEREAS, since legislation has already been written (HB 1082 and SB 464) that when passed and enacted into law would offer protection under the state OSHA for all workers including public sector workers, and
WHEREAS, the public servants who have dedicated their careers to this community deserve the same health and safety protections as their colleagues in the private sector.
WHEREAS, ______________________________________________ affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; we advocate and approve just laws and regulations that protect people from harm.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, ________________________________________________________ urges the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support and quickly pass HB 1082 Jake Schwab’s Worker Safety Bill and the Pennsylvania Senate to support and quickly pass SB 464 which both address the issue of public sector OSHA and will resolve a 49 year injustice to those workers.
The undersigned hereto affirm the passage of this resolution on ___ day of ___________________, 2019.
Name/Title__________________________________________________________________________

Name/Title____________________________________________________________________