Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

HoCo Dem State Legislators Seeking to Reduce Pay of 900 School Employees

Posted by Ed C on Monday, February 19, 2007

The Democrats in the Howard State Delegation are seeking to reduce the pay of about 900 school employees with House Bill 881 . Okay, that’s not the way they portray it, but that will be the effect.  The bill will enable the Howard County Education Association to collect mandatory fees from employees that are not union members. The voting on the bill was along party lines.

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, “Union officials were jubilant. Ann DeLacy, the union president, I think this is a great achievement”

Section 5, part (v) of the bill states:

1. The agency or representation fee shall be based only on the expenses incurred by the employee organization in its representation in negotiations, contract administration, including the handling of grievances, and other activities, as required under this section.

2. Any political activities of the employee organization designated as the exclusive representative may not be financed by the funds collected from the agency or representation fee.

Seems reasonable, for those employees that may object to union activities, these provisions appear to provide some restrictions. Right?  Well, what does the union say:

“DeLacy said the extra money could be used in several ways, including more professional development support to help teachers advance their careers, for hiring staff members and perhaps for expanding union office space.”

The bottom line, the union gets more money from 900 school employees whether they like it or not.

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One Response to “HoCo Dem State Legislators Seeking to Reduce Pay of 900 School Employees”

  1. bsflag2007 said

    I believe in the good that unions can and do do for business as well as labor. However, there is a tipping point where the good is outweighed by the bad. A simple test of whether that point has been crossed is this – when valid, reasonable solutions to problems in the “business” are presented… if the first (and often only) objection is “the union will never go for it” — one must question the role the “union” is playing in the collaboration necessary to make a business run smoothly.

    There are some seemingly intractible problems in the public education system — many of which have proposed solutions — which “the union will never go for”.

    In Howard County there are 900 or so teachers who choose not to participate in the union — and though the union argues that these teachers are still receiving the benefit of its’ efforts, I do not agree. The union argues that all teachers benefit from the same pay scale – though I would argue that all teachers are bound by an unfair pay structure imposed by the contract the union negotiated with the BOE.

    Non-union teachers do not choose to opt out of union membership solely due to the cost of dues — non-union members purchase their own liability insurance, and absorb other expenses which union members do not have. In the cases I am aware of, teachers choose not to join because of disagreements in theory or philosophy. They do not want to support the official direction and positions of the union.

    I think they should have that right. Especially when the union has become an obstacle to solving the educational crisis which many of these fine professional educators have devoted their lives to.

    It is a form of protest – free speech – free association.

    Cindy Vaillancourt

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