6/2/08

Teacher unions kill no-strike bill

Bill is 'stuck' in committee

Legislation to ban teacher strikes in Pennsylvania is stuck in committee, but supporters still hope to see it become law. House Bill 1369 would prohibit strikes and impose significant penalties on teachers who incite or participate in a strike. The measure would also set specific steps to facilitate negotiations and provide ways to keep the public abreast of contract talks.

Brandywine Heights School Board member Ken Heffner said he likes the bill for two reasons.

"One, no disruptions (in school), and two, the transparency on contract negotiations," he said. "It allows the public to participate and know what’s going on."

Heffner, who was elected last year and has championed controlling costs, asked the Brandywine Heights board to endorse a letter of support for the bill at the May 5 meeting. The measure was approved 5-4.

State Rep. Todd Rock, the primary sponsor of the bill, said he has received a lot of support from school board members in Pennsylvania districts worried about a strike.

The Franklin County Republican, a former teacher, said he has no agenda against teachers. He said he sponsored the bill because strikes put children in the middle of contract disputes and they hurt the image of teachers.

(readingeagle.com)

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