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On Statehouse Live: Labor groups suffer blow in Kansas House


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

During a committee hearing on the bill, Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber, told legislators, “I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions."

That sums up the sole intent of this bill pretty succinctly.

Mike1949 3 years ago

Who are the Unions? People, they want to take away the power of people! Haven't we learned anything over the last 100 years? (I'm looking for the soup lines now!)

jafs 3 years ago

It makes it obvious that the talk of protecting union members' rights is a lie.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"But Rep. Reid Petty, R-Liberal, described the bill as "pro teacher." He said, "It gives teachers a right to decide where their money is spent.""

They already had that right. Which makes you a liar.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

It's wackos in the legislature that are bullying teachers into shutting up.

cowboy 3 years ago

House Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, said, "We are going to try to cover your back." She added, "It is just the beginning of a lot of tough votes."

Translate= were going to do all kinds of evil crap this session , get on board the crazy train.

This is simple to get around. Just have an auto payment from your checking account to the KNEA. Done / solved.

KSManimal 3 years ago

The paycheck deduction part (a SMALL part of the bill) is easy enough to get around. But this bill goes FAR beyond issues of paycheck deductions; to flat-out revoke 1st Amendment rights for public employee unions. Since the JW and other media outlets continue to IGNORE this part of HB 2023; I will share it here again:

"It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee organization to endorse candidates, or spend any of its income, including any income in the form of or derived from any dues, fees, assessments or any other periodic payments, directly or indirectly, to engage in political activities as defined in paragraph (2). (2) For the purposes of this section, "political activities" means any activity carried out for the purpose of influencing, in whole or part, any election for a state, local government or board of education office, including activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature engaged in by a public employee organization for such purpose, and including contributions to a political committee, continuing political employee committee, or both, for the purpose of aiding or promoting the endorsement, nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for public office of the state or of a county, municipality or school district, or the passage or defeat of any public question."

Any bets on how long this law remains before an injunction is issued?

Paul Decelles 3 years ago

KSManimal, Exactly! I assume LJWorld reporters can read. If that is a correct assumption then I am left with the conclusion that information about the rest of the bill is being edited out.

TongiJayhawk 3 years ago

Cowboy: Stop trying to bring common sense to the argument!!!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

As Reads: Labor groups suffer blow in Kansas House.

Should Read: Finally, something in the taxpayers favor.

Thomas Christie 3 years ago

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is a joke. They have a couple choices for a new name: Koch Kids or Brownback Boys. Either way, it's not a good things for Kansans.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

This is about silencing teachers, firefighters and police in the political arena. It does nothing to promote accountability in any way, to anyone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

I'm sure that public employee unions will adapt and still try to get their message out.

But no one was forced to contribute to political campaigns even before this law was passed. The sole intent was to put up hurdles to participation in the political process because the wackos in the legislature you support don't like the message. If you can't see that, it's because you just don't want to.

And the charges of "bullying" are just a juvenile bout of name calling that has absolutely no basis in fact.

KSManimal 3 years ago

Silences no one? Oh, really..... Let me cut & paste from the bill:

"It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee organization to endorse candidates, or spend any of its income, including any income in the form of or derived from any dues, fees, assessments or any other periodic payments, directly or indirectly, to engage in political activities as defined in paragraph (2). (2) For the purposes of this section, "political activities" means any activity carried out for the purpose of influencing, in whole or part, any election for a state, local government or board of education office, including activities or causes of a partisan political or ideological nature engaged in by a public employee organization for such purpose, and including contributions to a political committee, continuing political employee committee, or both, for the purpose of aiding or promoting the endorsement, nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for public office of the state or of a county, municipality or school district, or the passage or defeat of any public question."

Now, cheeseburger, explain how that "silences no one". Take your time....

jafs 3 years ago

Either way, it's blatantly unconstitutional.

Especially since the Citizens United SC ruling, but even before that, I'd say. The rights of speech, assembly and petitioning are basic fundamental constitutional rights, and states can't just abrogate those at will.

KSManimal 3 years ago

"The operative word in the sentence is organization - individuals still have a voice, as they always have."

Exactly. So your statement of "it silences no one" is a lie. It silences KNEA and all its local affiliates, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police and all its local affiliates, Kansas State Troopers Association, the firefighters unions, and indeed all public employee unions. What part of "shall make no law...abridging" don't you understand, cheeseburger? What part of the "Citizens United" ruling don't you understand?

chootspa 3 years ago

So corporations have free speech rights, but organizations do not? Since when?

bad_dog 3 years ago

The NRA is an "organization". Does the NRA ever "speak"? No, representatives of the organization speak on its behalf. If you silence the organization, you silence the membership.

Liberty275 3 years ago

""It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee organization to endorse candidates"

That's the same rule that churches have. If it isn't a free speech issue for churches, why is it for unions?

"or spend any of its income, including any income in the form of or derived from any dues, fees, assessments or any other periodic payments, directly or indirectly, to engage in political activities"

The union can have a bake sale to raise money for political activities.

I have no use for unions and find it disgusting that there are places in America where you have to pay a third party so you can work. That said, unions themselves are protected as free association, and if all union involvement was voluntary, I could just ignore them. While I don't think this is first amendment issue, it was a petty move by the legislature. In my opinion, the legislature should have limited itself to making any deduction that goes into a political fund opt-in. No opt-out, no refund.

As for negotiating with unions, we shouldn't do it. They can ask to negotiate and we can tell them no.

ATR920 3 years ago

Let me ask you- should teachers be allowed to go on strike in Kansas?

jafs 3 years ago

I believe that all non-profit organizations that get certain tax benefits are prohibited from endorsing candidates - don't know whether or not unions are in that category.

How can you justify prohibiting them from spending money that was voluntarily given for the purpose of political activity on that?

Union membership in KS is completely voluntary, as far as I know, since we're a "right to work" state.

As such, it has the rights of speech, assembly, and petition, as an organization designed for that, and supported voluntarily by the members.

Opt-in or out seems minor to me - as long as people are choosing whether or not they're paying into the political activity part.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

Once again, I am going to have to explain to my out-of-state friends that I don't live in Kansas; I live in Lawrence.

Norm Jennings 3 years ago

As our teachers have bullied school boards and districts across the state to pay them salaries that rank in the top 10 nationwide...no wait they haven't done that?

As our teachers have had progressively larger budgets to work with...they haven't?

Well, since Kansas teachers have received ever high annual pay increases...wrong again??

Welllll -- lets go stick it to these terrible, good-for-nothing, ungrateful teachers !! How dare they want a UNION !!!!!!!!????????????????????

and after all we've given them!!

Bob Forer 3 years ago

The price of everything continues to go up every year. Not just education. And many teachers have gone without a raise for a while.

If the republicans really were interested in saving money, they would consolidate a lot of the rural school districts to save money on duplicative administration costs. But the small communities are too proprietary and will raise a stink, and, of course, most politicians, republican and democratic alike, run from good ideas which are politically unpopular.

ATR920 3 years ago

Can anyone provide a link or a list of how each representative voted- greatly appreciated!

Also my wife cant have her union fee take out of her paycheck now but she can have the YMCA membership as a payroll deduction?! A christian organziation that lobbies greatly can get away with it, but not the professional union?

Gedanken 3 years ago

Let me get this right. It is bullying if we express to a representative that we don't like the way they voted? Don't they call that Lobbying?

Greg Cooper 3 years ago

No, they call that communicating with one's supposed representative. That is an activity that I find it hard to believe many representatives take part in.

And it is perfectly OK for the Kochs, Dave Trabert's gang, or anyone with money to "communicate" with the legislature, but, now, apparently, not the unions which actually represent, and COMMUN{ICATE with, their members!

Kansas: as dumb as the government.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years ago

Great Right spin on that one. Freedom of speech is Bullying if you do not agree with MY views. Got IT!

ATR920 3 years ago

No way deductions like YMCA, United Way, and Red Cross will be able to continue if KNEA is not allowed to have a deduction.

In fact my wife as a teacher said the most pressure she ever felt in school was done by the United Way and their paycheck deduction. She never once felt pressured to join the union, but man if you didnt sign up for United Way you were a horrible teacher!

KSManimal 3 years ago

consumer1 - it's "giving" not "giveing". And it's "professional" not "profressonal". And your understanding of public school finance and teacher salaries is about as good as your spelling.

State legislators do not establish teacher salaries. Salaries are negotiated between local BOE's and local teachers' unions. Whatever agreements are made there have nothing whatsoever to do with state appropriations.

Teachers do not make more money than their professional peer groups. In fact, teacher salaries are consistently lower than other professional career choices which require similar amounts of education, licensing, etc. This holds true even when adjusted for "summers off."

Finally, your entire argument is irrelevant; because the 1st Amendment allows any group of people to assemble, pool their money, and hire out as much lobbying as they wish. You don't have to like it.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

"I am a product of public schools."

Most folks are products of public schools, and they usually graduate knowing how to spell properly, or at the very least, have enough pride and initiative to use spell-check.

Instead of blaming the "system" for your inadequacies, have you ever considered the idea that perhaps you were a poor or lazy student?

With education, the results are directly proportional to the effort expended.

Then again, you might just be stupid.

ATR920 3 years ago

Why would she be Anti-KNEA if she is voluntarily giving money to the organziation?

Greg Cooper 3 years ago

Again, c1, you spout idiocies without background. PROVE IT!

Randy Leonard 3 years ago

Your spelling ability tells me all I need to know about you.

bad_dog 3 years ago

How do mis-placed (sic) fingers result in misspelled words like "dis-abilities"? I'm sure that must be the explanation, just like "typo's" is a contraction or personal possessive.

FYI, many folks believe persons that ignore or fail to understand/respect simple rules of grammar and spelling also take shortcuts when it comes to things like analytical reasoning and reading comprehension. Trying to explain it away by using the "fat-finger" defense doesn't add to the allure of your arguments.

bad_dog 3 years ago

Alleging someone is bribing public officials in a public forum smacks of libel to me.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

This is great news for economic development for the State. All those quality teacher who are too afraid too teach now because of union bullying will leave their second professions and return to teaching. Also, teachers from other states will undoubtedly flock to Kansas to get away from those bully union. The quality of instruction will surely go up, and this will be more of an incentive for out-of-state businesses to come to Kansas because of our wonderful educational system.

Sam Brownback is a fricking genius.

ATR920 3 years ago

Not to mention all the new jobs the KNEA will have to add to get all their members signed back up!

Brownback is adding jobs left and right!

chemmom 3 years ago

I am a teacher. I am glad to be a member of my local union. Our local representatives DO NOT pressure any teacher to become a member. Our local representatives work WITH our school board to establish the best possible learning environments for our students. Our KNEA representatives in Topeka work hard to present the needs of teachers so that we can best support our students. This goes far beyond just salary. Classroom resources, technology needs, school physical environment, curriculum adoption, professional development, special education needs, school support staff (nurses, registrar, office support), library and media specialists, and counselor needs are all items for which KNEA and our local groups advocate. The most disheartening piece about this legislation and the other bills that have been presented, is the portrayal of teachers as "thugs". And the request that "union thugs" please leave the House after the vote today. This is the ultimate in disrespect.

I am a teacher. I am preparing the next generation of Kansas workers, tax-payers, and voters. I am encouraging our state's children to be problem solvers, innovators, and critical thinkers. I am helping YOUR children develop the skills needed for whatever the next page in their life adventure holds.

I am a teacher. I am not a thug. I am not the enemy. I am a hardworking, tax-paying, Kansas voter. I am a member of a union that speaks on behalf of myself, my colleagues, and YOUR CHILDREN. We did not flood the statehouse today, because we were too busy doing our jobs.

I am a teacher. I am molding the best hopes for our future. Kansas legislators, Chamber of Commerce, and our governor showed today how little regard they have for that future.

I am a teacher, and I am crying.

ATR920 3 years ago

You need to send this every state rep and senator in the state!

Bob Forer 3 years ago

Thanks for your dedicated service to our children. I am ashamed of my fellow Kansas who are in favor of this garbage.

cellogrl 3 years ago

chemmom, I also am a teacher and I could not have said it better than you did. I agree with ATR920. You should send that to everyone in the legislature.

chootspa 3 years ago

Send it to the local newspapers as letters to the editor. The legislators won't care unless the voters do.

sciencegeek 3 years ago

1) Too many legislators no longer listen to the people. Polls have shown that the people don't support taking over the judiciary or removing tax deductions that help the middle class, but it still happens. Legislators listen to the deep pockets that support the ultra-right-wing.

2) There are teachers who know that a letter to the editor can get them into trouble with their administrators. Most of the teachers that are left do it because they know how important their work is, and don't want to be forced out. I know of many more teachers who aren't supported by their administrator that who have EVER been forced to support a union!

chootspa 3 years ago

Point # 2 is well taken. Perhaps a friend can post it on their behalf?

jimmyjms 3 years ago

Consumer1, who is virulently opposed to teachers and education, has at least one spelling or grammatical error in each of his posts.

Seriously, every single one has at least one error.

Why would this person expect to be taken seriously?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

It's about to get much, much worse, thanks to all the haters of teachers and anyone else who works in the public sector. All the austerity hysteria, if allowed to go on any longer, will make folks nostalgic for the recession of 2007. Just look what it's doing to Spain, Italy and Greece.

chemmom 3 years ago

I wonder why after generations of lawyers and politicians who have never spent a day teaching making education policy, the country is in the condition it is in?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Your notion that education will all of a sudden reach its zenith if only teachers will submit to your ideological purity tests looks a whole lot like an inquisition to me. Should we burn a few at the stake to make an example?

chemmom 3 years ago

Being innovative, critical thinkers, and problem solvers does not qualify someone to address issues far outside their area of expertise.

sciencegeek 3 years ago

Mainly because the people deciding how the teachers are allowed to do their job have never been in a classroom. If the teachers ran the schools, things would be very, very different.

chootspa 3 years ago

In Finland, the rate of union membership is nearly 100%, and they have some of the best schools in the entire world.

chootspa 3 years ago

I'm not implying union membership always leads to better student outcomes, but it clearly does not prevent a school system from being the best in the world.

Finland has a lot going for it, including a dramatically lower wealth gap, universal health care, and a culture that values education and teachers. However, it's interesting to see that in Finnish schools, even non-homogeneous students do well. They've had an uptick in immigrants and Finnish language leaners, but they do not lag behind at the same rate as ESL students do in this country.

LucyW 3 years ago

I'm wondering what year you were born. Go back and see what the graduation rate was that year and then rethink your statement.

buffalo63 3 years ago

It seems that this type of "bullying" is being played out around the country. I would like to think that I am a conservative, but the actions of conservatives is anything but. If they can't win elections outright, then lets do anything and everything to "rig" the elections so we can. Its about the haves and have nots and they want to make sure only they will be the haves, even if it tramples on the rights of others.

Goodbye 3 years ago

I am also a teacher. I find it very disheartening people want to bash teachers. We are not just teachers, we are counselors, substitute parents, and friends to those whose parents are too busy. We encourage students to have good work ethics, because some of our students do not have anyone else to teach those values to them. As I read recently, during the Newtown disaster, teachers were considered heroes, now you think of us as bullies and thugs. For those of you who think we are overpaid, most teachers do not work from 7:50 - 3:50 (8 hours). We are here early and sometimes as late as 8, 9, or even 10 at night. No we are not messing around, we are working; trying to find other ways to teach a concept so the students can better understand or grading papers. Our summers are off? I have to continue my education to be able to teach. No the district does not pay for my continuing education. I do! We work during the summer to find new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, collaborate with other teachers to better help the students and work at making our classroom a better environment for the students to work.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

The answers are complicated, but your adherence to a narrow ideology won't allow you to consider them. You'd much rather bash the bogeyteachers.

ATR920 3 years ago

Coming from someone whose beliefs are based off of a couple of rich dudes in Wichita named Koch? Or is it because the Governor has promised your small business will thrive in a depopulated wasteland with disgruntled public workers?

Please name your diverse alternatives?

Innovation is trying to help education through the dictatorship of imbeciles. Critical thinking- like teaching in a state that provides more hurdles than pathways to educating children?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"You saying the union teachers have done a fine job to this point?"

Education is a community-wide responsibility. As such, it is imperfect and uneven in it's level of success. Can we, all of us, do better? Of course. But you attack teachers for the lack of perfection in educational outcomes that has multiple causes, mostly outside of their control, simply because they have a professional organization whose partial purpose is to promote the financial well-being of its members in dealing with their employers, the public school districts of Kansas. It is petty and superficial, derived entirely from an ideology that is petty and superficial.

chootspa 3 years ago

Blame Reagan. It's just as rational of a conclusion.

ATR920 3 years ago

What another example of KS officials wasting tax payers money! Do they really think this will end the KNEA? If this bill passed 30 years ago then yes it may have had a big effect on the KNEA but in today's day in age it will not matter at all! People can pay their bill electronically and it is pretty simple!

All the KNEA will have to do is set up a website for members to pay and they will set up bank transfers from their site or they will send out KNEA reps to sign everyone up. Almost everyone pays their bills electronically through bank transfers and websites, adding one more to teachers isn't going to make them all of a sudden not pay for their union dues.

If I can pay for my house, car, and utilities online by putting in my routing number or sending them a voided check, I don't think there will be any problem with the KNEA making it work.

If anything this will just be a huge pain in the butt for the payrolls of schools who have to go through and adjust all the teachers paychecks. The teachers themselves will just have to make a one time adjustment in how they pay for their union dues and the KNEA wont bat an eye.

But you anti-unionist sure did show the KNEA :)

Liberty275 3 years ago

"But you anti-unionist sure did show the KNEA :)"

Nah. When the KNEA has the same power as the Elk's Lodge, then we will have shown them. Free Association is a poor cover for extortion. We have to leave the free association part in, but we can stop the blackmail.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Yea, those thug teachers are worse than John Gotti and family.

Katara 3 years ago

This bill will be ruled unconstitutional.

The matter was already decided by the SCOTUS decision in Communications Workers of America v. Beck. The KNEA's system of voluntary deductions from teachers' paychecks complies with that ruling and there is no evidence of coercion by any of the public unions.

Just more waste of taxpayer time and money... as if unions, public or not, have tons of power in a right to work state.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Yea, but they got to get their hate on for all those thug teachers.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years ago

This is simply part of the plan to destroy public education for the good of all (corporation) people, our new masters.

oldexbeat 3 years ago

"But supporters of the bill said they heard that teachers were being pressured to donate their funds for political advocacy, although no teacher or public employee stepped forward during hearings on the legislation to confirm that."

Just thinking of all those Koch Brothers LLC Chamber of Commerce professionals that help our children learn and stepped forward to try and save students in Newtown and --- oh wait -- they aren't doing that at all. They are attacking a group making middleclass wages for long days and a most important task. That's who the Kansas Chamber of Commerce (and HyVee) are attacking. Bullies. Thugs. Selfserving POS.

oldexbeat 3 years ago

asked about major supporter of Kansas Chamber HyVee -- major Koch Bros/Kansas Chamber of Commerce sponsors are:


Larry Sturm 3 years ago

Get rid of the unions produce a slave state.

SDTPlant 3 years ago


This goes out to all of you who are union busting Raygunites-any History Channel watchers amongst you? Look back at the sordid history of Carnegie, Rockefellar, Morgan, et al. Need I say more?

My best informed, educated guess is that you are unfamiliar with the law regarding contributions/membership to the respective unions.

You're going to get what you asked for. I need not say more.

windex 3 years ago

It just occurred to me that bad drivers education teachers must be responsible for all the lousy drivers on the roads. Apparently teachers are what's wrong with everything else in the world, including consumer1's ability to think clearly or write an error-free sentence.

jafs 3 years ago

It is strange when conservatives, who often talk about personal responsibility, seem not to apply that to themselves and/or their own lives, isn't it?

Katara 3 years ago

Rules are for the little people and none of the pseudo conservatives (none of the ones posing as conservatives now are truly conservatives) don't believe that they are the little people.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Privatization is money laundering

Privatization funnels YOUR TAX DOLLARS and MINE into the corporate bank accounts. THIS IS A CORPORATE ENTITLEMENT. Billions and trillions of tax dollars caught the eye of corporate America = easy and guaranteed profits guided by fascist politicians.

Now the corporation becomes dependent on government in addition to skimming tax dollars off the top which get laundered into :

CEO pay packages

Golden Parachutes


GOP special interest campaign cookie jars

Yes our tax dollars are now getting spent recklessly instead of efficiently.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Think long term impact.

It isn't only union wages that go down. It's most wages. If all unions get busted and those millions upon millions are receiving less that translates into most all other workers making less money because workers across America will quit spending money.

When workers quit spending money what happens for the long term?

People go out of business thus more job losses.

Carpenters,plumbers and electricians go out of business because workers cannot afford more houses.

Property values sink because there is no money and foreclosures continue to rise.

New auto sales will slump AGAIN.

MORE retirement plans will go up in smoke because Wall Street will take a dive because spending which drives investors is no where to be found.

Millions more will not be able to pay for medical insurance.

Sales taxes will increase because all other tax sources have gone up in smoke.

Infrastructure will go longer without maintenance and/or replacement.

This is but a short list.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years ago

You have to admire the GOP. The know a lot about crimes that don't take place. Last year it was voter fraud and ID laws to combat it. This year it is union extortion rackets and payroll deductions to combat it. The problem is that these crimes are not taking place and the cure is worse than the disease.

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