Douglas County considers anti-union ballot measures

1:50 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
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In June, the school district and union failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement before the current one expired. Teachers are currently moving forward without a CBA.

At the school board meeting Tuesday night, board members stated they are thinking about placing one of three possible questions on the November ballot to voters:

  1. Should the district be prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining with the union? 
  2. Should the district be prohibited from using public funding for the compensation of union leaders? 
  3. Should the district be prohibited from collecting union dues from employee paychecks on the union's behalf?

All of the actions have already been taken by the school board going into to the 2012-13 school year. If voters approve these measures, it would serve as public affirmation to move forward into subsequent school years with the same plans.

"This board is focused on anything but kids in the classroom," said Brenda Smith, president of the Douglas County Federation. "What the board is trying to do is basically a power grab. They are trying to limit what future elected officials may want to do and they are basically out of control."

The president of the board of education for DCSD released the following statement regarding these potential ballot questions:

"This district has been laser focused on promoting student achievement, recruiting world class teachers, and reducing class size. Standing in the way of these reforms is a union that has shown more interest in protecting the taxpayer-funded salaries of union executives than it has increasing the salaries of teachers, a union that would rather divert cash to politicians and their campaigns than help us reduce class sizes, and a union that is one heck of a lot more interested in defending an antiquated collective bargaining system than it is recruiting and retaining the best teachers in Colorado. And so the school board and a lot of parents and teachers are asking: Is there a better way?"

Board members have until Sept. 7 to decide whether to place any one or none of the questions on the Nov. 6 ballot.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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