Will Kokomo Say “Union No?”


The Kokomo, Indiana school system’s teacher union membership has fallen below that which it needs to continue to be the exclusive representative for that district.  Teacher union officials, of course, blame the state legislation.  If a union is good for teachers, it will not have to force them to join, they will join and stay willingly.  If the union does not benefit teachers, why should they support it?  Indiana has a Right to Work law which allows teachers to resign their membership whenever they wish to, and Indiana Professional Educators offers professional services for teachers without the politics.  Devin Zimmerman has the story in the kokomo perspective.

Within Kokomo School Corporation (KSC), the Kokomo Teachers Association (KTA) has suffered declining membership rates. So much so that now the association technically could be dissolved by a petition of the teachers who could opt to either replace the representative body with a new union or opt to not utilize a union at all.

Compared to other school unions within Howard County, Kokomo is an outlier as it’s the only corporation to have membership rates below 50 percent over the past three years.

With the teacher participation rate within the KTA being less than 50 percent, certain factors come into play that could impact the union going forward.

Once a teachers’ union falls below the 50-percent threshold, notification begins to be sent out by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board. This is the same organization that tracks union and teacher data for the state.

The notification is sent directly to teachers within the school corporation, and it notifies them that there is a process teachers can embark on to either form a different representative body or dissolve the union, opting to not have a representative body.

For this to take place, teachers would need to form a petition, and 20 percent of KSC teachers would have to sign.