Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What Losing the Legislature Means to More of Our Friends--Kansas Educators Likely to Pay a Heavy Price

Kansas Legislature Mulls Bill To Limit Teacher Union Rights.

LCEA NOTE: We frequently ask our members to commit to involving themselves in coffees, writing legislators and more. Kansas teachers--who came to Pottawattamie County several times to help with Election 2012--are likely to lose many hard-fought gains because both chambers and the Governor's office are now filled with anti-public-education policy makers. Please answer the call to help us in this session. We are truly "one Gronstal" away from Wisconsin.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (1/29, Llopis-Jepsen) reports that a committee of the Kansas state House is considering legislation to "limit the negotiating rights of teachers unions and strip them of their status as exclusive bargaining units. The amendments to the Professional Negotiations Act would allow teachers who aren't part of their local unions to negotiate contracts individually or in other groups." The measure would remove teacher assessments from the "list of negotiable items," along with "the length of classes and number of periods per day."

KCTV-TV Kansas City, MO (1/30, McCallister, Lee) reports online that the bill "would change the way schools could negotiate contracts with teachers," adding that legislators "have proposed bills targeting public sector unions and Tuesday focused on teachers." Noting that teachers and other education stakeholders are protesting the bill, the article quotes a local teachers union leader saying, "They're going to try and silence our political voice."