Columbia Teachers to Vote on Representation

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Missouri National Education Association, or CMNEA, has submitted a petition putting them on the ballot to be the exclusive bargaining representative for Columbia public school teachers.

After collecting signatures from more than 30 percent of its members, CMNEA submitted the petition to Superintendent Chris Belcher Friday. Now, the school district must hold an election for teachers and included staff to decide on the issue. Voters will be able to choose any union that submits a petition to be their exclusive representative, or none at all.

Any other union interested in representing the teachers now has until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 1, to submit a petition with signatures of at least 10 percent of its members to get on the ballot as well.

Columbia teachers are not allowed to strike, and union representation would not change this.

CMNEA member Dan Weil said what would change is the ability to bargain teacher contracts.

Weil is confident in his group's chances in an election, but acknowledges they're just getting started. "We need to garner more support from all teachers, we need to show and say why it's a good idea, and so there's still a lot of work to do," said Weil.