Archive for Monday, February 25, 2013

Lawrence school board votes to oppose anti-union bill

February 25, 2013


Lawrence school board members voted unanimously Monday to send a letter to a Kansas legislative committee opposing a bill that would limit teachers' collective bargaining rights.

"Now is not the time to be attacking their rights as individuals," said board president Vanessa Sanburn.

House Bill 2085 is currently pending in the House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development. The panel held a hearing on the bill Jan. 29 but has not yet voted on whether to send it to the full House.

It would provide that the method of evaluating teachers, as well as the length and number of teaching periods in a day, would no longer be subject to collective bargaining. It would also remove the right of unions to be the exclusive bargaining agent for teachers. And it would give teachers who choose not to belong to the local union the right to negotiate their own contracts individually.

"This has nothing to do with improving education," said board member Rick Ingram. "Part of it, for me, is philosophical. The chipping away of collective bargaining rights really bothers me."

The letter, which will be sent to members of the committee, says the bill is "ill-timed given surrounding circumstances, and quite simply seems to be a solution in search of an unillustrated and unjustified problem."

Deena Burnett, president of the Lawrence Education Association, the bargaining unit for teachers in the Lawrence school district, read a statement opposing the bill and urging board members to endorse the letter.

"Remember that these attacks are being orchestrated by people living in other states and other cities who have a whole different agenda," Burnett said. "And that is for public schools to fail, whether by cutting funding, enacting ridiculous laws and-or splintering the very people who work to ensure the success of all students."

No one spoke in opposition to sending the letter.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a report from Superintendent Rick Doll that the district will soon begin interviewing candidates for the open principal positions at Pinckney School and Sunset Hill School.

• Received an annual report from the Lawrence Schools Foundation.

• Received a report from the board's Finance Advisory Council.

• And recognized students who have been named National Merit finalists and students who have received other national scholar recognitions.


tomatogrower 1 year, 1 month ago

Can't, your attitude is an example of the new business model, actually, not new. It's the attitude of the 1800's Industrial Revolution. Workers are just an evil necessity. If you could do the business without them it would make you happy. I mean they expect to have a roof over their heads and food in their belly. And they expect you to pay for it, even though what you are really paying is for their services, just like you pay a mechanic or a doctor. What a pain, right? I sure feel sorry for your employees. You consistently downgrade them. I'll bet you never even tip.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 1 month ago

Unions are done. They only serve now as bastions for malcontents. Unions do not care about their workers, only the survival of the union. Why in the would would you want to buy your own wages? Ask the twinkie guys how the union treated them.... it is just a matter of time till they will treat you the same way.

What is really sad, is our parents and children don't have anyone protecting them. They are caught up in a bureaucratic game ran by a bunch of very over paid administrators. The quality of education would skyrocket if we had a preformanced based educational system. The money the district would save could be used to bus our children to school, those same children that were crapped on partly because the generous with everyone elses money voters in town demanded a public transportation system to continue the goal of total dependency on services instead of self reliance.

Good teachers will bubble to the top and be compensated. Great teachers will be rewarded better. The strap hangers will get the opportunity to persue a different degree field. Everyone wins except those that would not win anyway.


ravenjayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

only those afraid of their abilities have to have others keep them safe


rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

Unions breed complacency and protect incompetence. That's why the union membership rate for public-sector workers is 36% compared to only 6% for private-sector workers.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

"It would provide that the method of evaluating teachers, as well as the length and number of teaching periods in a day, would no longer be subject to collective bargaining. It would also remove the right of unions to be the exclusive bargaining agent for teachers. And it would give teachers who choose not to belong to the local union the right to negotiate their own contracts individually."

In other words, eliminate the current, highly organized and transparent process based on professionalism and mutual respect with a highly chaotic, secretive and arbitrary one that will rely more on backstabbing and favoritism totally controlled by administration, in which the most narcissistic administrators will be the best equipped to prevail. Teachers will take one lesson from that-- keep your mouth shut and just go along to get along, students and quality of education be damned.


homechanger 1 year, 1 month ago

So public sector employees should be able to vote themselves raises and better working conditions right out of the private sectors pockets? Nope. Don't like the pay or conditions find a new job.


KSManimal 1 year, 1 month ago

THANK YOU, Lawrence Board of Education, for having your heads and hearts in the right place and doing what's best for students. Teacher's working conditions and student's learning conditions are THE SAME CONDITIONS.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 1 month ago

TG: good comment. Beware of anyone who starts sentences with "all" or "those." For example, "All teachers/politicians (left or right) poor people, old people, etc. are. [ __]. Thinking can be hard, but it is worth it. Much of the rest is just bloviating.


tomatogrower 1 year, 1 month ago

Good for the BOE. When I worked in the schools, the union teachers were the hardest working. They were more likely to take extra classes and training to better serve their students. Many of the non union teachers were coaches who kept their jobs, because they were coaches. Their teaching was lousy. Even the kids found their classes lousy, but they loved them, because they could sit around and talk sports all the time. Now this is only an observation from a couple of schools in which I worked, so I can't make any generalizations or assumptions, like all you conservatives do when you see a couple of teachers leave right after school once or twice, and assume all teachers aren't doing their work, or that these teachers are leaving to go home or get drunk. One of the teachers I worked with actually walked the administrators through the process to fire a teacher who was not doing his job. They gave the guy a couple of chances to improve, following the procedures laid out in their contract, but the union did not stand in anyone's way when the bad teacher was fired, because the administrators had justified the firing, and weren't just firing him for giving a detention to a student of the school board president.


windex 1 year, 1 month ago

Liberal American car owner x 2


Pork_Ribs 1 year, 1 month ago

Unions were instrumental in building this country in the 20th century. Their greed and laziness will be instrumental in the next depression in the 21st.

You liberals who deny this...what make and model of car do you drive? There is a single glaring reason south east Asia controls our auto market. The greed and laziness of a union. Period. More pay and beni's for crappy, expensive products. Same as our money pit of an education system.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 1 month ago

Is this the same board that wants the taxpayers of Lawrence to give them a $92.5 million bond in the form of a blank check?


buffalo63 1 year, 1 month ago

"it would give teachers who choose not to belong to the local union the right to negotiate their own contracts individually." And with whom would they negotiate? The school board, superintendent, principal, janitor? How much time and favoritism would that take? Who would make the decision to give me a $10,000 raise and the teacher in the next room a $100 raise. The only thing I did was give all the students A grades, never assigned homework, taught to the test, kiss someones a$$, didn't take attendance, etc, etc. Nothing like tearing the education system apart and creating chaos so schools can be privatized.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank You USD 497 BOE for demonstrating the right for teachers to support unions. They need all of the wage protection that can be garnered.

The war against unions is a war against wages in America.


ku4me2 1 year, 1 month ago

It's too bad the superintendent doesn't agree with the boards sentiment. At least the BOE shows our teachers some respect and treats them as professionals.


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