Perhaps the most egregious aspect of this story is the quote from Brenda Smith, head of the local AFT. It is shocking to think this labor union official might be teaching students, when she declares:
“Exclusivity for a union with majority support is not a monopoly, it is democracy. . .”
Those teachers who were brave enough to remain nonunion were still forced to accept whatever the labor union bargained for them. There’s nothing democratic about that.
The Douglas County School District inColorado has dissolved its relationship with the local teacher union, when the current monopoly bargaining contract expired on June 30, 2012. Congratulations, Douglas County School District officials, for doing the right thing by your teachers. For allowing those teachers to choose their own way of communicating with the school board. For allowing your teachers to teach in professional freedom.
John Ransom of Townhall.com, has the story:
“The Board of Education finds and declares that the Collective Bargaining Agreements between the District and the Unions,” said the district on July 3rd in its formal resolution dissolving the bonds between the union and the district, “which had been effective from July 1, 2011 through and including June 30, 2012, are now expired and of no legal effect whatsoever.”
The dissolution between the district and the union is unprecedented and sources close to the union tell me that unions are pensively watching, worried that other districts around Colorado and the country could take the same action as Douglas County has.
We can only hope.
The main issue between the district and the union was the union’s insistence on being the sole bargaining agents for the teachers. The district, in the interest of transparency, wanted other professional teacher associations to be able to appear at the bargaining table.
“Exclusivity for a union with majority support is not a monopoly, it is democracy,” said Brenda Smith, local head of the AFL-CIO affiliated American Federation of Teachers according to Colorado Ed News. “It is order rather than chaos. It allows employees to select their representative freely, without coercion from the employer. It allows them to amplify their voice through collective action under our constitutionally protected right to freedom of association.”