Senate Bill Would Eliminate Negotiations for Teachers, Firefighters and Police Officers
On January 31, the Goldwater Institute, through Senator Rick Murphy (R- Peoria), passed Senate Bills 1484, 1485, 1486 and 1487 out of the Senate Government Reform Committee. These bills are designed to cripple your local association and other public sector employee associations by prohibiting your right to bargain with your school district through the meet and confer process as well as your personal right to have your dues collected directly from your paycheck.
School leaders know that certain issues are best discussed with education employees to create positive learning and working conditions for all employees and students. That is why the Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona School Administrators Association, and the Arizona Association of School Business Officials stood with the AEA in opposing these extremist bills. Collaboration with educators and school leaders through the meet and confer process is fundamental to providing quality education for our students and quality working conditions for school employees. Likewise, our streets and homes are safer because municipalities include firefighters and police officers in decisions.
The last two legislative sessions school budgets were slashed, the voices of teachers were attacked, the most vulnerable citizens were victimized, and working families were hurt, while corporations received huge tax breaks. Rather than focusing on Arizona's priorities of jobs, economic growth, and quality schools, the majority of legislators abandoned mainstream Arizonans. Outside corporate lobbyists have dictated their extreme partisan national agenda through expensive junkets hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and faulty policy research produced by the Goldwater Institute.
The Goldwater Institute is misleading legislators and the public about teacher, firefighter, and police officer salaries, benefits and bargaining processes to eliminate labor's influence, the most organized check in our state against corporate greed. Some of the important facts left out by the lobbyists for the Goldwater Institute include:
- Arizona is a "Right to Work" state which makes membership in an association completely voluntary.
- School districts and municipalities are not forced to increase pay and benefits and have the final say on all negotiations.
- Cities and school districts negotiate with their employees because they choose to voluntarily and see the benefit of meeting with employees on various matters.
The pressure on legislators by the corporate CEO-funded institutions will be heavy, so please contact your State Senator and ask him/her to choose teachers and Arizona families by voting NO on these bills. Then, stay tuned for more information about these bills and how you can join with other educators, firefighters, police officers, and citizens to defeat these bills and the influence of the Goldwater Institute and the corporate CEOs who want to take control of our legislature.
You can find additional information about the above bills at the links below and learn more by reading this related article.