On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden backs efforts by Capitol Hill staffers to build up a union.
When a reporter questioned Psaki “There’s some talk on Capitol Hill about congressional staffers unionizing,” adding “Does the president support that?”
Psaki responded by saying “He does,” further added, “He supports the right of any individual to seek to join a union, to collective bargain, and of course, Capitol Hill staffers are certain individuals who are pursuing that.”
When questioned whether White House staff have been in contact with the congressional staffers who are pressing for a union, Psaki directed the question to congressional leadership.
The declaration of Biden’s back for a union on Capitol Hill arrives amidst the increasing popularity of the Instagram handle “Dear White Staffers,” which began publishing in early 2020 majorly regarding the purported biased treatment of minority staffers on Capitol Hill.
Most recently, the account’s served as a clearinghouse for more general complaints regarding lesser pay, claimed harassment, and typically deteriorating working conditions, frequent naming individual members.
Staffers Paid Enormously Low Salaries
Staffers are given extremely low pay, particularly in an expensive city such as Washington, D.C. According to the Congressional Research Service, the average salary for a staff assistant in a House office was $39,130.
The median legislative assistant in a House office was being paid a salary of $55,058 back in 2019, however, some earned less than $45,000.
Offices also reckon immensely on unpaid internships and fellowships, roles aspiring Hill staffers very often need, sometimes even after getting a graduation degree from college, before they are capable of hopping into a paid designation.
Other prime Democrats have given their back for the union, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who both openly in public stood in support of the step on Thursday.
On Friday, a panel of staffers officially shared their plan to pursue a union.
Back in September, Biden reiterated an earlier pledge to be the most-pro labor president in the history of the nation.
“Labor will always be welcome. You know, you’ve heard me say many times: I intend to be the most pro-union president leading the most pro-union administration in American history.”