Teachers React to Collective Bargaining Bill
Lisa Hurd is the lead negotiator for the Jackson-Madison County Education Association. A job that may soon disappear as the state legislature inches closer and closer to doing away with the right for teachers. “I think its gonna be harmful for teacher morale and it concerns me what’s gonna happen when we stop valuing our teachers.” For six years, Hurd has been the voice of more than 1,100 teachers in the Jackson-Madison County School District. She has helped to negotiate eight major issues such as salaries, insurance and working conditions, but that may soon change if the house bill, passed Thursday becomes law. “The bill has been passed that will reduce the scope of negotiations drastically,” said Hurd. According to Hurd, she could still negotiate salary and benefits, but not areas such as merit pay and evaluation standards. “If this goes the direction that its going , the board can take this what direction they want this to go.” Which she also said will leave teachers in the school system voiceless, and agrees it could get worse. The senate version of the bill eliminates union bargaining all together. “Teachers don’t look at this as being political but to a teacher it’s their profession and its about standards.” “Teachers just like everyone else in the private sector need to be able to bargain,” explained substitute teacher Robert Hardaway.