Increasing regulations on business activities are changing the face of Pennsylvania’s economy. As these changes take hold, how will they impact the future of the state’s unions? Are these organizations still viable in the future landscape? Are they necessary? Experts will convene to discuss whether unions have a place in the next century’s economy and if so, what that may be.
November 19, 2:45pm – 4:15pm
Location: Main Hall
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Rick Grimaldi is a partner in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. offices. He gets results with an understanding of the practical business needs of his clients. His national practice spans all aspects labor and employment law including regularly representing employers in litigation matters involving discrimination claims and wrongful termination claims. Rick is the Chair of the Fisher & Phillips Government Relations practice group.
He provides advice, counsel and training on such topics as reductions in force, performance management, creating a respectful workplace and drafting of employment handbooks and policies. In addition, he assists businesses in traditional labor matters such as formulating comprehensive and strategic union avoidance tactics, protecting employers in union election campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements defending grievance and unfair labor practice claims.
Rick also assists employers with regulatory and government administrative issues at the local, state and federal levels. Rick has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers every year since 2007.
Lori Armstrong Halber
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Lori Armstrong Halber is a partner in the Philadelphia office. With an eye towards practical results, she represents management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law. Lori has extensive experience defending employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies in matters involving Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, with particular class and collective action experience.
With respect to traditional labor matters, Lori provides labor relations counseling and defends clients in grievance and unfair labor practice claims. She also has experience in the immigration field counseling corporate clients regarding compliance with business immigration regulations under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and the U.S. Department of Labor and representing them in related enforcement proceedings.
Lori regularly provides preventive counseling and training on topics such as the respectful workplace, performance management and union avoidance. Lori was listed as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2007 and has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. In 2006 she was selected as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by the Legal Intelligencer.
The PFM Group
Michael Nadol is a Managing Director with The PFM Group, the nation’s leading provider of independent financial advisory services to state and local governments and non-profit institutions.
Mike leads the firm’s management and budget consulting practice nationally, and supports clients including the City of New York, New York MTA, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, and State of Delaware in collective bargaining, employee interest arbitration, and retiree benefits reform.
Prior to joining PFM, Mike served the City of Philadelphia in positions including Director of Labor Negotiations and Director of Finance. In 1996, he led the City’s bargaining team in negotiations with over 20,000 municipal employees.
Mike holds a Master of Governmental Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University. He is on the adjunct faculty at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government, Chairs the City of Philadelphia’s Building Safety Oversight Board, and serves on the Board of Greater Philadelphia’s Committee of 70.
Research Fellow, Labor Economics
Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity
As research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, James Sherk researches ways to promote competition and mobility in the workforce rather than erect barriers that prevent workers from getting ahead.
Sherk’s recent writings address the economic benefits of right-to-work laws; why participation in the labor force dropped during the recession; and how automation has affected the labor market. His research showed that federal employees make significantly more than comparable workers in the private sector. The findings attracted widespread national attention and contributed to the decision of President Obama and congressional leaders to suspend scheduled across-the-board pay increases for federal workers.
Sherk has been a national leader in the movement to experiment with local right-to-work laws. His research on the topic helped spur many Kentucky counties to pass right-to-work using the home rule powers the state legislature delegated them.
Sherk’s labor reform work formed the basis for the advance of legislation in Congress to allow union members to earn pay increases above their union rate. Under current law, unionized employers may not pay individuals more without the union’s permission.
Sherk, who joined Heritage in 2006, frequently testifies before committees of Congress on labor policy issues. He has testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee.
Sherk has also testified before state legislatures across the country, including the Wisconsin legislature as it debated passing right-to-work. His testimony identified errors in union-backed studies claiming right-to-work laws lower wages. Sherk explained to legislators that correcting these errors shows right-to-work laws have no negative effect on wages but do increase employment.
Sherk’s commentary and analysis have appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, Washington Times, Business Week and Roll Call. CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC and PBS are among TV news outlets to feature his analysis of pressing labor issues.
Sherk completed graduate studies at the University of Rochester, where he received a master of arts in economics with a concentration in econometrics and labor economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. Sherk resides with his beloved wife in northern Virginia.
Patrick B. Gillespie
Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO
Patrick B. Gillespie, Business Manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO for thirty-three years, and also presently Vice President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.
Prior to that, he was Vice President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union #542. He also served one term in the Pennsylvania State Legislature representing the 162nd District.
He was educated in the Philadelphia Parochial School System — attending St. Thomas More High School and St. Joseph’s University Comey Institute.
He serves on a number of Boards and Commissions: Allied Trades Assistance Program. Built-Rite Co-Chairman, Independence Blue Cross – Executive Committee, Philadelphia Area Labor-Management Committee, United Cerebral Palsy Association of Philadelphia
He formerly served on the Board of the Greater Philadelphia First Corporation, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Greater Philadelphia Economic Development Coalition, Philadelphia Bar Association Foundation, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Philadelphia Civic Center Board, Philadelphia Criminal Justice Commission, Philadelphia Trial Court Nominating Committee, Federal Judicial Selection Committee, Center City District and the National Constitution Center Executive Committee.
Pat and his wife, Arlene, reside in Havertown, Pennsylvania. They have four children — Patrick (Shannon), Matthew (Shonna), Kevin (Ann) and Marie – and also nine grandchildren – Patrick, Grace, Hannah, Kevin, Matthew, Henry, Connor, Emmet and Lyla.