House: Pair teacher councils and districts on contract talks

Thursday, April 24, 2008 | 4:04 p.m. CDT; updated 7:08 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008


JEFFERSON CITY — The House voted today to require school districts to negotiate contracts with teacher councils.

It's an attempt to set up a structure for collective bargaining.

The legislation comes after a Missouri Supreme Court decision last year holding that public employees are allowed to collectively bargain. That overturned a 1947 Supreme Court decision that had construed a constitutional right to collective bargaining to apply only to private-sector employees.

The bill guarantees any association whose members account for at least 10 percent of the district's teachers to have a spot on the council.

Bill critics include one of the state's largest teachers unions. They argue that teachers should be able to decide their representatives through an election.

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