Pennsylvania law grants public employees, including school teachers, the right to organize and choose their own representatives.
Public employers are required to negotiate and bargain with organizations representing public employees and to enter into written agreements that show the result of such bargaining.
Elected officials, gubernatorial appointees, management level employees and confidential employees are excluded from collective bargaining rights. Police and firefighters are subject to compulsory arbitration when collective bargaining results in impasse.
Employees may bargain over wages, hours and conditions of employment. If a strike by public employees occurs after the collective bargaining process – negotiation and mediation – has been completely exhausted and no agreement has been reached, it cannot be prohibited unless the strike creates a danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public.
Strikes are prohibited for guards at prisons or mental hospitals, for employees necessary to the functioning of the courts, and for all employees while mediation or fact-finding is pending.