Government
10:05 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Bill Would Limit Collective Bargaining for Teachers

A bill in the Kansas House would limit the bargaining rights of teachers in the state. Supporters of the measure want administrators to have more flexibility to hire, fire and assign teachers.

The bill would take out some bargaining rights teachers currently have. It would limit what can be negotiated by unions. For example, how teachers are evaluated could no longer be part of the contract negotiations. S

Some lawmakers say Kansas needs to look at new ways of recruiting, hiring and evaluating teachers.

Representative Gene Suellentrop is a Wichita Republican.

“It strikes me that we’re being too rigid within this delivery of education to our students,” said Suellentrop.

Opponents of the bill argue that the current process is working fine, and the bill is an attempt to weaken unions.

David Schauner is with the Kansas National Education Association, a union representing teachers.

“This bill’s unspoken interest is to get rid of collective bargaining as we know it in Kansas, under the guise of ‘let’s be more efficient,’” said Schauner.

The legislation is one of several bills affecting unions that are moving in the Legislature.