Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2013

Statehouse Live: Labor groups suffer blow in Kansas House

January 31, 2013

Advertisement

— The Kansas National Education Association and public employee unions on Thursday suffered a blow as the House approved a bill that both sides agreed would hurt the labor groups.

House Bill 2023 was approved, 68-56, and sent to the Senate for consideration. Only Republicans supported the measure, while all 33 Democrats and 23 Republicans voted against it.

Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, voted against the bill, saying the measure was an “overtly political attack to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.”

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

Backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, HB 2023 would prohibit KNEA and state and local government unions from deducting voluntary paycheck donations from members to be used for political advocacy. For example, a teacher can give the KNEA permission to deduct a portion of his or her pay that would go to the KNEA’s political action committee. The amount has been cited as less than $2 per month. Under this bill, the automatic paycheck deduction would be prohibited.

In a preliminary vote Wednesday, the measure was advanced 66-54. Democrats said they had hoped to change the outcome on the final vote, but that didn’t happen.

In the House Republican caucus before the final vote, GOP leaders urged first-term legislators to stick with them.

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.”

Several more bills are in the pipeline to restrict labor activity. Similar measures had been stopped in recent years in the Senate but the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and other conservative groups helped flip the Senate into conservative control this session.

KNEA President Karen Godfrey said, “I have been an active teacher for over 30 years and I have never seen such a deluge of offensive anti-teacher legislation as has been produced in the first 12 days of this session. Kansans are ashamed to be represented in such a vindictive manner.”

Opponents of the bill said it was designed to try to eliminate teachers and public workers from the political process by denying them the ability to have a small portion of their pay deducted for political action committees.

The KNEA issued a statement that noted the teachers in the Newtown, Conn., massacre who tried to protect their students. “We have come to expect them even to put themselves between a gunman and the children but just let them try to express a political opinion and the Kansas Legislature will shut them down,” the statement said.

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.

The bill’s supporters also said tax funds shouldn’t be used to administer the deduction, but KNEA officials said that cost was minimal. And they said teachers could still contribute to political action committees through a personal donation.

Rep. Marvin Kleeb, R-Overland Park, the carrier of the bill, noted during debate that similar legislation in other states had greatly reduced membership of public employee unions.

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.”

Comments

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 2 months 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.

1

Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months 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.

1

Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months 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

Shareholders

GOP special interest campaign cookie jars

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

1

windex 1 year, 2 months 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.

0

SDTPlant 1 year, 2 months ago

Okay,

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.

1

Larry Sturm 1 year, 2 months ago

Get rid of the unions produce a slave state.

1

oldexbeat 1 year, 2 months 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.

3

JJE007 1 year, 2 months ago

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

2

Katara 1 year, 2 months 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.

5

ATR920 1 year, 2 months 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 :)

1

kansasdaughter 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks to the teachers who have dedicated their lives to children and education! Don't take the hater comments here seriously, haters gonna hate no matter the subject.

3

Goodbye 1 year, 2 months 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.

8

buffalo63 1 year, 2 months 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.

4

Nubrick 1 year, 2 months ago

I wonder why after generations of union Teachers, teaching children, the country is in the condition it is in? All I have seen on this thread is how hard working the union teacher is at training the children to be innovative, critical thinkers and problem solvers.

So is this as good as it gets in the state? The country?

2

jimmyjms 1 year, 2 months 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?

3

cellogrl 1 year, 2 months 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.

3

chemmom 1 year, 2 months 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.

21

rockchalk1977 1 year, 2 months ago

Excellent news, the union money laundering operation will soon end. Looks like 33 Democrats and 23 Republicans need to be voted out next election.

1

Bob Forer 1 year, 2 months 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.

4

consumer1 1 year, 2 months ago

You neglect ot mentino whether your wife was Pro-KNEA. If she is, then of course she wouldn't put up any resistence to giveing them money. It is a good investment to pay your big lobby group to bribe state legislators to get more raises every year. Teachers like any group have some good ones and some bad ones. But in the name of equity, teacher make more money and get raises more often than many of their profressonal peer groups. BECAUSE of the KNEA Bullies.

1

bigtoe 1 year, 2 months ago

To quote Obama "we won and you lost" so get over it.

0

autie 1 year, 2 months ago

This was most definitely a problem in search of a solution. If one cannot have that payment voluntarily deducted from their paycheck can they still have an assigned portion direct deposited in an account of their chosing? Why? How does this help anybody? It is clear that the excuse of saving put upon teachers is a phony lie. Where is the advantage?

1

ATR920 1 year, 2 months 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?

5

Norm Jennings 1 year, 2 months 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!!

12

consumer1 1 year, 2 months ago

That one statement speaks Volumes about you Sychophant. Volumes!

2

Bob Forer 1 year, 2 months 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.

11

consumer1 1 year, 2 months ago

Fanally some accoutability for taxpayers.

3

Thom 1 year, 2 months 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.

4

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 2 months ago

As Reads: Labor groups suffer blow in Kansas House.

Should Read: Finally, something in the taxpayers favor.

3

cowboy 1 year, 2 months 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.

8

consumer1 1 year, 2 months ago

although no teacher or public employee stepped forward during hearings on the legislation to confirm that.

Yesh step forward and commit career suicide. Liberals are not forgiving in any shape way or form. YOu might say, they are the Bullies. They use bulling tactics to get what they want.

2

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months 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.

9

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 2 months 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.

12

consumer1 1 year, 2 months ago

Kansas National Education Association sxuffered a blow. YaHOOOOOO!!!

5

Commenting has been disabled for this item.