Senate committee passes bill that strips bargaining rights from teachers union

Senate committee passes bill that strips bargaining rights from teachers union
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andy Sher (Contact) NASHVILLE — The Senate Education Committee passed a bill today that would do away with mandatory negotiations with teachers’ unions.

On a 6-3 vote that cut straight down Republican-Democrat party lines, the committee approved the bill, which strips collective bargaining rights from the Tennessee Education Association and its affiliates.

Dozens of teachers and tea party activists began filing into the Legislative Plaza this morning in advance of the committee hearing, eventually filling the hearing room to the brink with about 300 people.

TEA Executive Director Al Mance said teachers view Senate Bill 113 as an “unprecedented attack on their rights to have some input into education.”

Conservative tea party members support the legislation, said Ben Cunningham, a prominent tea party activist.

“The TEA is primarily a political organization,” Cunningham said. “This [current law] is a special franchise that gives them even more political clout and they promoted the state income tax. They are invariably in favor of higher taxes and bigger government.”

Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, a Senate Education Committee member, indicated he does not favor the bill, which is sponsored by several Republican leaders in the GOP-dominated General Assembly.

“There’s nothing wrong with negotiating issues about things like classroom size and what we should be doing is figuring out ways to work on these together rather than filing partisan and divisive legislation,” Berke said.

But Lee Harrell, lobbyist for the Tennessee School Boards Association, said the legislation is necessary because the current negotiations process is “so adversarial.”

“There are winners and losers and you’re not looking at what the child in each classroom needs and you’re not looking at what the child in each classroom needs,” Harrell said.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press

Seniority Lists
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts

GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Katherine McGaw
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez