Via the TN Report (available to read in full Here)

The Tennessee House and Senate have approved competing plans overhauling the state’s collective bargaining laws.

But both chambers’ leaders believe they’ll ultimately end up banning unions from negotiating teachers’ labor contracts once everything is said and done.

On a 59-39 vote, majority Republicans moved to scale back teachers’ collective bargaining powers.  Opponents included all the House Democrats, one independent and five Republicans.  A band of Republicans railed against the bill, too. The GOP caucus members who voted against SB113/HB130 included Reps. Scotty Campbell of Mountain City, Mike Harrison of Rogersville, Dennis “Coach Roach of Rutledge, Dale Ford of Jonesborough and Bob Ramsey of Maryville.  Independent Kent Williams also voted against the anti-collective bargaining legislation.

So what happens now?

The two chambers will likely play a short game of legislative ping-pong where the Senate rejects the House version of the collective bargaining overhaul then the House turns down the Senate version.

Then speakers from both chambers will name three lawmakers to represent the chamber in a conference committee, essentially a compromise group meant to hash out the differences between the two bills.

Harwell said she’d consider naming Education Chairman Richard Montgomery of Sevierville, bill sponsor Debra Maggart of Mt. Juliet and Rep. Harry Brooks of Knoxville to the committee.

Via the City Paper (available to read in full Here)

The state House voted Thursday for a compromise version of the proposal to curtail collective bargaining by public school teachers, setting up a showdown with hard-line Senate Republicans in the last days of the legislative session.

The vote was 59-39, with a handful of moderate Republicans voting no, and the debate lasted four hours.

To end it, House leaders finally limited each representative’s time to speak, first to five minutes and then to only two minutes.

The House bill continues to allow contract negotiations for base pay and benefits. But it prohibits collective bargaining for merit pay and teacher assignments, among other issues. The Senate-passed bill is an outright repeal of the 1978 law allowing collective bargaining by teachers belonging to the Tennessee Education Association.

Via the Tennessean (available to read in full Here)

Both ideas remained on the table late Thursday, and the House vote cleared the way for Republican leaders to appoint a conference committee that would put together a compromise between the two plans.

That committee is expected to be appointed today, and a final version could be sent to Gov. Bill Haslam as soon as this afternoon.

The conference committee is expected to meet today. At least 50 House members, as well as a majority in the Senate, will have to accept the conference plan for the bill to move on to the governor.

TNSC once again reminds our Tennessee representatives why it is imperative to end forced collective bargaining:

  1. Collective bargaining creates an adversarial environment between teachers and school instead of working together for the benefit of students and improving performance.
  2. Ending collective bargaining would allow teachers to be paid based on their performance and skills, treating them as professionals, allowing districts to better value and compensate top quality teachers.
  3. It is through collective bargaining the teachers unions prevent any meaningful education reform.
  4. Union influence and power has resulted in exponentially increasing the cost of education for taxpayers yet providing virtually no improvements to the quality of education.
  5. Ending collective bargaining will serve to break the anti-trust power brokering between politicians and the teachers union and return control to the tax payers, individual teachers and their employers and parents and away from teachers unions and the politicians beholding to them.


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