Tag Archives: Jerry Winters

House Republicans Retreat and Revise Collective Bargaining Bill

With the approval of Gov. Bill Haslam, House Republicans retreated from a push to prohibit collective bargaining by teachers unions and instead substituted a rewritten bill that puts new restrictions on the practice.
The revised bill was zipped through the House Education Subcommittee on a party-line vote with Democrats protesting they had not had a chance to digest the changes, which were drafted by Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, at the request of House Speaker Beth Harwell.
A Senate committee earlier approved the original version, which flatly forbids collective bargaining between teacher organizations and local school boards. About 90 of the state’s 130 school systems now have collective bargaining.
The new version would allow bargaining to continue on basic pay and benefits for teachers, but explicitly keeps some things off the table.
Among the excluded subjects are merit pay, extra “differential pay” for teachers in specific subjects such as math and science, dues deductions for unions, the salary and benefits of principals and “working conditions” of teachers.
The revised bill would make it easier to “decertify” an association as a bargaining agent for teachers, requiring only 30 percent of those covered by an agreement to vote out a union instead of 50 percent as under current law. Also, it calls for all persons covered by a proposed contract to vote on ratification instead of just those who are part of the union, as is the case under current law.

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