Kansas State Senate wages another attack on teachers

Kansas state senators are moving a bill that will require annual re-certification elections- at a taxpayer cost of 340 thousand dollars annually- to establish union representation of members on a year-to-year basis.

Despite these ongoing costs at a time of statewide deficits, Sen. Jeff Melcher of Leawood says he wants to give new teachers a voice, “so they can make their thoughts known as to whether they want to be represented by the [National Education Association] or someone else.”

Language already exists that triggers a new election if 30 percent of the membership requests it. 

This isn’t a new idea. Wisconsin has been requiring annual recertification votes for public-sector unions since 2013, as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial Act 10. In Wisconsin, 51 percent of all workers eligible to be in a union must vote yes for a union to survive, so not voting counts as a “no” vote. According to the anti-union John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which has been tracking these elections, the votes have led to the demise of over 100 unions, including the substitute teachers union in Appleton, the teachers’ union in Elkhorn, and the union representing engineers in Milwaukee Public Schools.  

Behind these efforts are the familiar opponents of public education, including the Heritage Foundation and American Legislative Exchange Council that have encouraged and promoted these policies. Read more.