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Official Spells Out Challenges for Unionizing Capitol Hill Staff

March 2, 2022, 11:59 PM

Congressional staff members who are seeking to unionize—with the backing of Democratic leaders—would run into some restrictions along the way, according to a representative of the office that would oversee the process.

“The bread-and-butter issues really cannot be bargained,” John Uelmen, the general counsel for the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, told members of the House Administration Committee at a Wednesday hearing.

Staffers couldn’t strike, nor could they negotiate items set by law, such as health care, retirement, or the portion of funding allocated to each member’s office, Uelman told the panel.

The House Administration Committee held a hearing about unionizing Capitol Hill staff.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Members of the panel pressed Uelman on the ...