House to vote this week on bill to allow staffers to unionize
Bill is expected to pass the House but not the Senate
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
The Democrat-controlled House is set to vote this week on legislation that would allow Capitol Hill staffers to unionize.
The decision to hold a vote – amid staffers' increasingly public comments and efforts to address low pay, long hours and mean bosses – was announced Friday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"Congressional staffers deserve the same fundamental rights and protections as workers all across the country, including the right to bargain collectively," the California Democrat said in her letter to colleagues.
Though the bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate, if the House passes it, it will take effect in the lower chamber due to the Congressional Accountability Act.
Last week, Pelosi also announced that beginning in September, the pay base for House staffers will be raised to $45,000.
"With a competitive minimum salary, the House will better be able to retain and recruit excellent, diverse talent," she also wrote in last week's letter. "Doing so will open the doors to public service for those who may not have been able to afford to do so in the past. This is also an issue of fairness, as many of the youngest staffers working the longest hours often earn the lowest salaries."