House

Pelosi would give ‘full support’ if congressional staffers unionize, aide says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds the America COMPETES Act as she addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
Greg Nash

Congressional staffers who choose to unionize would have the “full support” of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), an aide of hers said Thursday.

“Like all Americans, our tireless Congressional staff have the right to organize their workplace and join together in a union. If and when staffers choose to exercise that right, they would have Speaker Pelosi’s full support,” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted on Thursday.

Hammill’s statement comes after Pelosi did not provide a definitive stance on whether she would support congressional staffers unionizing during her weekly press conference.

“Do you support staffer attempts to unionize here in Congress?” Latino Rebels correspondent Pablo Manríquez asked Pelosi earlier on Thursday.

“Well, we just unionized at the DCCC, and I supported that,” Pelosi answered, referring to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ campaign arm.

Earlier in the briefing Pelosi brushed off a question regarding an Instagram account called “Dear White Staffers,” which mentions low pay and points out lack of diversity on Capitol Hill among other issues.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which calls itself America’s Black think tank, said in a press release in January 2021 that slightly less than a quarter of top staff hired as of Jan. 12, 2021, by new members were people of color, including Black staffers, who made up less than 7 percent.

Congressional data published by the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion also illustrates how low wages are for House staffers alone. Data from a 2021 House Compensation and Diversity Study showed that the median salary for staffers for the House overall was $59,000 – sinking to a median of $50,000 when specifically looking at member offices. 

More than 100 House Democrats in June said they supported increasing staffer salaries through an increase to the Member Representational Allowance.

Tags Drew Hammill Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi

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