House Subcommittee Amends Education Bill, Allowing Collective Bargaining to Survive
March 17, 2011 at 4:37AM
NASHVILLE — Against all expectations, compromise is alive and well in the Tennessee General Assembly — though getting anybody to admit it is a semantic issue. When Jerry Winters, executive director of the Tennessee Education Association, was questioned by reporters Wednesday following the passage of an amended SB113/HB130 through a state House education subcommittee, he described the bill, which gives the TEA and its affiliates a fighting chance to maintain their collective bargaining rights, as representing “progress, though not a victory.”
Given that the original version of the bill, as proposed by state Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville), amounted to an absolute abolishment of bargaining rights for teachers’ unions and the amended bill would restore those rights, merely raising the voting threshold by which individual unions — oops, teachers’ associations — could gain the right to represent teachers, wouldn’t that be a compromise?