Teachers Singled Out in Indiana Union Membership Bill
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS - Some Indiana educators are speaking out about legislation they contend is anti-union and singles out teachers.
Under Senate Bill 251, teacher unions would not be allowed to automatically renew members. Instead, teachers and support staff would need to re-enroll every year, and personally request that dues be deducted from their paychecks.
Shannon Adams, president of Martinsville Classroom Teachers Association Local 6548, said she sees it as a solution in search of a problem.
"I struggle with seeing how that's a priority during the pandemic, with the issues we have with jobs and the economy," she said. "It feels incredibly discriminatory in practice."
SB 251 also would require school districts to send a yearly notice to teachers, stating that they aren't required to join a union. Supporters have claimed the measure would help teachers by allowing them the chance to review union membership and ensure they're not unknowingly paying fees. However, Adams countered that teachers don't want or need that kind of help.
The Senate's Fiscal Impact Statement showed that the provisions in the bill would mean a workload increase for public schools. Randy Harrison, president of Anderson Federation of Teachers Local 519, predicted it would be "more red tape" for unions and their members.
"It's going to create more paperwork, to the tune of roughly 500 people in Anderson that are going to have to re-up as members every year," he said. "So, it's going to create an undue burden on not only the union office, but it will also create that on the payroll and the business office."
Adams said the bill only targets union dues among many possible paycheck deductions, and it includes only teachers and staff in public schools.
"Why are we attacking public labor? Because that's what it feels like," she said. "Why the urgency? Why is there such a similar bill in Florida? Who's behind it? I just don't see that there is a problem with the way our teachers' associations do their business."
Unlike SB 251, the bill Florida lawmakers are considering does include all public workers. The Indiana Senate had a second reading of SB 251 on Monday, and it could be on the Senate floor by the end of the week.
get more stories like this via email
The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…
High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …
As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …
Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …
Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …
A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …
Connecticut advocates are keen to see what will come from the recently established White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The new office …
A new report ranks Illinois first among 11 Midwestern states for the amount of clean power capacity under construction, and second for new clean …