Reactions to Collective Bargaining

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, May 29 2007 May 29, 2007 Tuesday, May 29, 2007 9:07:29 PM CDT May 29, 2007 in News

This decision reverses a 1947 ruling and affects public employees, including teachers. The decision could mean big changes for Missouri schools.

Missouri National Education Association President Greg Jung says it's about time.

"We were ecstatic. We were very happy because we know that this allows the experts- the teachers, custodians, the bus drivers- the experts that know what students need to learn to be at the table when local decisions are made," said Jung.

However, the Missouri State Teachers Association is concerned that increased salaries could lead to even greater budget crunches for many districts.

"They will have to implement the cost of having someone coming in who functions almost as negotiator between the district and between the teachers in the district, and that's expensive," said Todd Fuller, MSTA spokesperson.

While money is a big issue, it's not what has both the NEA and MSTA worried. Teachers in both the NEA and MSTA are concerned with the possibility of teachers' strikes. That's why they are in favor of making strikes exempt from collective bargaining. This way, teachers and students can stay in the classroom during negotiations.

"What do you do? What are the ramifications for strikes? A lot of our members are very much against that," said Jung.

"We think it makes a lot more sense to go about a rational, non-distruptive process that ends in binding arbitration," said Fuller

Arbitration approved by the state's highest court, but not implemented yet by the legislature. At this point, the legislature will be asked to designate who can serve as a third-party between teachers and administration, and the answer should come as early as next year.

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