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TN Republicans Introduce Raft of Bills Targeting Teachers Unions [View All]

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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 12:38 PM
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TN Republicans Introduce Raft of Bills Targeting Teachers Unions
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HB130, abolishes teacher unions ability to negotiate conditions of employment with school districts.
SB102, eliminates Tennessee Education Association-selected positions on Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System board of directors.
HB159, prohibits public employees having dues deductions for either political action committees or dues., if the organization engages in political activity in any way.
HB145, blocks Tennessee Education Association from recommending appointees to the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission board of directors.

Bills target teachers unions
Republican backers say organizations block education reform

By Tom Humphrey

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NASHVILLE - Some Republican legislators are pushing bills to prohibit collective bargaining by teachers unions, curb their influence on state boards and block deductions from government payrolls to cover their members' dues or donations to political causes.

House Republican Caucus Chairman Debra Maggart of Hendersonville says "unions have been stifling education reform throughout the years" and, in particular, collective bargaining has been "a roadblock to reforming education."

Maggart has proposed HB130, which would prohibit school boards from negotiating with teachers unions on working conditions or benefits and is apparently the most contentious of several measures. The bill was filed at the behest of the Tennessee School Boards Association. Current state law says that, once a local teachers association has enough members for recognition, a school board must negotiate over working conditions. Lee Harrell, director of governmental and labor relations for TSBA, said 41 of the state's 136 school systems are not required to conduct collective bargaining and that teacher pay and benefits average about $130 more per year than in the systems that do have bargaining.

Perhaps most controversial among other bills introduced recently that impact TEA, which claims 52,000 members statewide:
HB159 by Rep. Glen Casada of College Grove, formerly House Republican Caucus chairman, would block state and local government entities from making payroll deductions for membership dues in an organization that engages in "any political activity" or donations to political action committees.

SB102 by Senate Education Committee Chairman Delores Gresham, R-Somerville, which would eliminate four seats on the state retirement system board of directors now filled by TEA members - three for active teachers and one retired teacher. The bill would let the speakers of the House and Senate appoint any teacher to the slots without regard to TEA membership.


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