Public Sector Workers Deserve Bargaining Rights!
All workers deserve the right to unionize and bargain for a better workplace! But most public-sector workers in Georgia — teachers, nurses, university staff, and other government workers — aren’t legally allowed to collectively bargain or strike for a fair contract. Throughout the pandemic, the public has relied on essential workers to keep communities afloat, children educated, and families safe and healthy. We can’t leave these workers behind!
We are calling on Georgia state legislators to legalize collective bargaining for all public sector workers. Georgians deserve robust, well-funded public services, with public workers empowered to serve their communities.
- Sign the petition
- SB166 dropped last year in the State Senate: Contact your State Legislators about supporting it!
- Organizing your Workplace? Join our monthly Workplace Roundtable
- Attend a DSA event!
- Public sector worker? Contact our Labor Committee at email@example.com to get involved!
- Work at a public university? Join United Campus Workers of Georgia
Who are Public Sector Workers?
From K-12 teachers and nurses to bus operators and university staff, public service workers do the essential jobs that we all rely on to stay healthy, safe, and informed. Public sector jobs are tax-payer-funded and service driven, and can be found in schools, hospitals, childcare, social services, transportation, public utilities, sanitation, parks and recreation, environmental protection, libraries, museums, and more.
The public sector workforce not only earns less money on average, but is largely composed of women and people of color. Bargaining rights can help bridge this pay gap and improve the public services we all depend on!
Why are Union Rights for Public Workers important?
Georgia currently bans public workers from both collective bargaining and the right to strike. While some public unions technically exist, the lack of bargaining rights means that state and local governments still has total control over these workers’ wages, healthcare benefits, retirement funding, sick leave, and workplace health and safety, even if the majority of workers vote to form a union. Private sector workers currently have these rights — we must extend the right to bargain to all of Georgia workers!
Workers deserve more! Public sector bargaining allows workers to increase their wages, fight for fairer working conditions, and improve the services they provide by democratically negotiating their terms of employment. As workers, our power comes from our labor. This means the most effective tool we have to force the employer’s hand during negotiations is the strike.
Workers in Georgia have a lot to gain. Over 20% of Georgia’s state and local government employees make less than $15 an hour. Since the start of the pandemic, Georgia has lost 9% of it’s crucial public workers due to unlivable wages and unsafe working conditions. Collective bargaining can help us win back fair wages we deserve and improve the standard of living for all Georgians!
A bill to legalize collective bargaining for public-sector workers is planned to be introduced this legislative session. For reference, you can read the text of the 2022 version of the bill here, HB 1576.
Contact your State House Representatives!
The 2024 Georgia Legislative Session is approaching. The time is NOW to contact your House and Senate Reps and demand they pass legislation to legalize public sector bargaining rights.
- Use our letter-writing tool to quickly write a letter to your legislator
- Find your legislator’s contact information here
- Georgia Directory for House and Senate
- Sample Email for State Legislators
- Sample Phone Call Talking Points for State Legislators
Public Sector Worker?
If you’re public sector worker without collective bargaining rights, you can still organize! Contact our Labor Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, join one of our monthly workplace roundtables, and learn more about pre-majority unionism and how you can still build power at your workplace.