CO Teacher Union Officials Disrupt Proceedings

A growing trend in Colorado has been for school boards and administration to move away from the restraints of monopoly bargaining, taking back the power invested in them by the district and parents. 

Witness the Harrison 2 School district, which did away with bargaining under Superintendent Mike Miles’ tenure, and instituted a fair merit pay system with no teacher union involvement. 

Then there is Douglas County’s recent move away from monopoly bargaining, wresting power from the local teacher union affiliate.  These school boards did not back down. 

Recently in the Adams 12  district, teacher union officials staged protests over new rules they opposed. 

As Ben De Grow,, remarks,

“From the CEA’s perspective, now would not be the time to alienate support. Other Colorado school boards may have begun to realize that moving on without a local monopoly of teachers union power may not be as difficult as previously thought.”

Here’s the rest of the story: 

At the Sept. 5 school board meeting, more than 400 Colorado Education Association (CEA) members from at least seven different school districts turned out to intimidate the district’s elected leaders with shows of rhythmic clapping and sign-waving. They ended up walking out on the meeting before waiting to hear the Board’s response, leaving two taxpayers who respectfully expressed dissenting views to be escorted away by security officers for their own protection.

One of the taxpayers escorted out for his own safety, Joseph Hein, later sat down with me for a moving radio interview to discuss his up close and personal experience with union bullying. At the Sept. 19 meeting, a much smaller crowd of teachers applauded his calls to open bargaining negotiation sessions and records to public view. Hein may have called union leaders’ bluff, as the extra sunshine would put some union claims to the test. More action may come on the transparency front as a federal fact-finder’s report arrives later in the fall.

Union protestors reportedly decided to bypass this   board meeting in favor of waving creative signs at major intersections in and near the district. But were they able to stay one step ahead of the photographers and videographers who could relay images of their behavior to a wider world? We shall see.