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Home > MSMA News > Urge No Votes on Three Harmful Labor Bills – May 16, 2019

Urge No Votes on Three Harmful Labor Bills – May 16, 2019

L.D. 240, An Act To Allow Public Employers of Teachers to Negotiate Regarding Educational Policies, received a 7-5 vote in the Labor Committee last week threatening the right of School Boards to set education policy at the local level and limiting the voice of local taxpayers who pay for public education in their communities.

The bill is part of a three-part labor package backed by the teacher’s union that along with negotiating education policy includes the right for teachers to strike and binding arbitration over salaries and benefits that ultimately puts those decisions in the hands of outside arbitrators.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives in the House and ask them to vote against:

  • L.D. 240, An Act To Allow Public Employers of Teachers to Negotiate Regarding Educational Policies.
  • L.D. 1177, An Act To Improve Public Sector Labor Relations, a misleading title that would allow binding arbitration on the most expensive items in the school budget and other budgets covering public employees.
  • L.D. 900, An Act To Expand the Rights of Public Employees under the Maine Labor Laws, giving teachers and other public employees the right to strike.

Find your Senator. Find your House member.

Background on Education Policy Bill
L.D. 240, which had its first public hearing in February, originally called for negotiation of all education policy. It was narrowed down to four policies and then amended again last week to allow negotiation of teacher preparation time.

Make no mistake. If education policy in even one area is made negotiable the teacher’s union will be back again in the next legislative session to go after more. Their goal is to make ALL education policy negotiable.

As for the amended L.D. 240, teachers have preparation periods now, and they vary in length and frequency. Negotiating these periods would make the system rigid; affect the number of courses we offer; likely require additional teaching staff; and change class schedules during the day and week. It would raise the cost of education and be bad for students because it would make the system inflexible. That is counter to the reality that individual student needs vary and consultation time with other teachers is important – time that doesn’t fit neatly into a negotiated prep period.

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