States roll back teachers’ bargaining rights

Wisconsin’s new law restricting public employees’ collective bargaining rights is on hold to give Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi time to consider a lawsuit charging Republican lawmakers failed to give 24-hour notice of the vote. However, if the judge overturns the law, Republicans could pass it again.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed a law phasing out tenure for new teachers and restricting collective bargaining. The Republican governor also signed legislation to introduce teacher merit pay.

Collective-bargaining limits are moving forward in Ohio and Indiana.

In Tennessee, Republicans are debating whether to limit collective bargaining for teachers or ban it entirely. Again, Republicans control the legislature and the statehouse.

Florida will end tenure for new teachers, offer merit pay and limit bargaining rights.

About Joanne


  1. How ironic Joanne posted this just after a post about raising teachers’ pay and status.

  2. the two ideas are not contradictory at all, Mike.

    contrast with a professional organization — say doctors — arguably raising pay and status — without mandating a union or collective bargaining.

    Pay is raised by delivering value (merit whether as a team or as individuals). Value doesn’t have to measured by test scores only (but if the students wind up without literacy, it will be hard to assert the value delivered) Tutors do this all the time.

  3. What gets me is that people are jealous of teachers’ benefits, when they should be mad at their own employer if they feel shorted.

  4. Mark Roulo says:

    What gets me is that people are jealous of teachers’ benefits, when they should be mad at their own employer if they feel shorted.

    Some of us work in industries with (a) substantial business volatility, and (b) high levels of competition.

    Driving up the labor cost can easily result in the employer becoming unprofitable. This is bad.

    As an example, for about three years, ending last year, the company I work for instituted forced time off for one week per quarter (no work, but no pay) to save money. We also laid off about 1/3 of the workforce over that time period (things have picked up nicely in the last year, though!).

    It is, I suppose, possible for the employees to be lobbying (or striking) for better compensation, but I don’t expect that it would have turned out much better than it did for GM and Chrysler.

    The upset towards government employees as a group, I think, comes from people who (a) are working in an environment where they don’t think that their compensation *CAN* go up much without their employer getting into serious financial trouble, and (b) are expecting that their taxes *will* go up to pay for the benefits that the government employees will receive [or taxes stay the same, and provided services go down].

    It can appear that the government employees are in a position where they can just take more money from the taxpayers to pay for compensation, with not external break. If the people paying this money could do the same, I don’t think there would be much resentment. But they, for the most part, cannot. This perception (true or not), isn’t going to be in the government employee’s favor.