Why the UEA supports the 'Public Education Employment Reform' bill
(Originally sent as an email to all UEA members on Feb. 10, 2012, from UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh)
Dear Utah Educators,
As you will recall, this past September, Senator Aaron Osmond at the request of the State School Board brought forth potential legislation that would have made us all “at will” employees, moved all educators to performance pay, eliminated the Orderly Termination Act for public educators, and either eliminated or minimized negotiated agreements.
I asked that you take action and let the Utah State Board of Education and the good Senator know how this proposed legislation would impact you, your students and our profession. You responded in a big way! As a result, Sen. Osmond put his legislation “on hold” and took to the road; listening to teachers, administrators, board members and superintendents.
As a result of these regional meetings, Sen. Osmond convened a workgroup of stakeholders to address concerns. Sen. Osmond and representatives from the State Board of Education, the Utah State Office of Education, the Utah School Boards Association, the Utah School Superintendents Association and the Utah Education Association have been meeting for the past four months. Senate Bill 64: Public Education Employment Reform is the result of multiple conversations and many hours of work. (See what Sen. Osmond says about the bill here.)
For the first time that I can remember, UEA was “at the table” and an integral partner in the creation of a bill. As with any negotiation, we did not get all that we wanted, but we prevented many undesirable issues from being included in the bill. The end product was discussed internally with the UEA Board of Directors, the UEA Council of Local Presidents, the UniServ Directors, UEA Legal Counsel, UEA Legislative Team and UEA members. We received support and input from each of these groups and I believe the bill reflects our concerns and honors our contract, preserves orderly termination procedures and elevates our profession.
We support this bill AS WRITTEN. As you know, amendments to bills often occur once a bill is introduced. The State Board of Education also supports the bill AS WRITTEN. We have expressed our concern to Sen. Osmond that the integrity of the bill is a priority. He recognizes our concern and does not want the bill amended as it reflects the collaborative work of many. Rest assured, we will continue to monitor the bill’s progress.
Your local presidents have been briefed on this bill. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your local president.
It is such a privilege to represent each and every one of you!
See more about the Public Education Employment Reform proposal
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