Kansas Association of American Educators Presses for Equal Access

Kansas Association of American Educators (KANAAE) Executive Director Gary Sigle testified on behalf of a bill which would allow the nonunion professional educator group to gain equal access to communicate with teachers, currently, a privilege granted by school boards exclusively to teacher unions. 

Although Kansas’ Right to Work law allows teachers the freedom to join any professional organization they wish to, teacher union officials still retain monopoly representation over teachers.  Kansas teachers should be allowed equal access to information on all organization, not just teacher unions.  Of course, teacher union officials are afraid of losing this monopoly grip on teachers.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen has the story in The Capital-Journal. 

The list of bills proposing to change how school boards negotiate with teachers unions is growing.

The Equal Access Act would require that school boards grant access to other organizations as well, or else grant no access at all.

KANAAE executive director Garry Sigle testified at the hearing, telling legislators that the current system hinders free flow of information.

“Without equal access, teachers are underinformed and underprotected,” Sigle said.

But Kansas’ main teachers union, the Kansas National Education Association, said exclusive access was negotiable and up to school boards to decide.

“School boards can deny access,” said KNEA attorney Marjorie Blaufuss.

This amendment to the Professional Negotiations Act would be “inappropriate” because the act is about organizations that negotiate on behalf of teachers, she said.