For Immediate Release:
Feb. 5, 2019
SEIU Responds to Governor Wolf’s Budget Proposal
Harrisburg – Following Governor Wolf’s budget address, leaders of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council released the following statement:
“Despite a recalcitrant anti-worker legislature that has attempted to thwart progress at every turn, Pennsylvanians have taken major strides during Governor Wolf’s first term. In four years, we have restored the Corbett-era cuts by investing $1 billion in education, expanded Medicaid coverage to 730,000 Pennsylvanians, legalized medical marijuana, enacted first-in-the-nation criminal justice reforms, raised wages for state employees, and are on the path to enacting fair overtime standards.
“There is still major work to do – and the governor’s agenda pushes forward in several key areas. SEIU will fight for an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour on the most aggressive schedule possible, and for the long overdue enactment of the shale severance tax. The governor has laid out sweeping investments in workforce development and PA schools, which are key to rebuilding and sustaining Pennsylvania’s middle class. In this budget, the governor has provided increased funding for child and long-term care, making further investments to ensure that we care for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations,” said Gabe Morgan, Vice President of SEIU Local 32BJ and President of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council.
“In addition to what the governor laid out, SEIU members will continue to demand that the General Assembly make critical changes to allow more Pennsylvanians to join and form unions. This effort began in 2018 with the introduction of the Workplace Freedom Act, legislation that will allow public sector workers to unionize with a simple majority vote. To truly tackle the massive wage disparity plaguing Pennsylvania, the General Assembly needs to promote a ‘unions for all’ agenda.
“We know that to enact our complete vision for a socially and economically just Pennsylvania, we must have a General Assembly that accurately reflects the will of Pennsylvanians. Until then, budgets will be constrained by the realities of negotiating with an anti-worker legislature. SEIU members will continue to fight alongside Governor Wolf to enact the key initiatives of his budget, while also fighting to elect a General Assembly that will enact real change for working Pennsylvanians,” said Matt Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council.