RICHMOND—Today, the Virginia House of Delegates successfully passed a bill establishing access to collective bargaining for public employees. The bill, HB 582, repeals a 2013 law that prevented state and local employees from unionizing.
“Virginia is on its way to becoming the 48th state to give our public employees the freedom to bargain collectively. This bill champions the many public service workers for the Commonwealth whose rights were suppressed under the previous law,” Delegate Elizabeth Guzman said. “After dedicating their careers to public service, teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local government employees will have a seat at the table and a voice at work, which will in turn empower them to advocate for the communities they serve. I am proud to stand by them in achieving it.”
“Virginia should be more than a great place to do business, it should be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Laws like the ban on public-sector collective bargaining have been a part of relegating Virginia to the bottom of rankings for workers,” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring said. “If we want a thriving economy and a healthy business climate in the Commonwealth, we need to start with respecting working people.”
“Police officers, firefighters, teachers, and all public service workers employees deserve the right to negotiate for better pay and working conditions,” Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said. “The legislation passed in the House is a long-overdue win for the public workers who keep us safe, teach our children, and maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in the Commonwealth.”
This bill is one among many put forth by the new Democratic majority to strengthen the rights of Virginia’s workers. The Democratic majority will continue to fight to ensure that Virginia is not only the best state to do business in, but also the best place to work and raise a family.