Action Center

Take Action: Committee Considering Detrimental Changes to Collective Bargaining

On Thursday, the House Labor Committee will begin testimony on a package of bills which would repeal some of the prohibited subjects of bargaining currently in the Public Employment Relations Act.

MASB opposes some of the items they are looking to repeal in House Bill 4354, including teacher placement, layoffs and recalls, and discharge or discipline. Removing these items from the prohibited subjects list means they would then be mandatory subjects of bargaining when working on a collective bargaining agreement.

We urge you to reach out to your Representative and share your opposition and specific district examples on how repealing these items will have an adverse effect on students and staff and the collective bargaining process. Ask them to remove these items from the bill.


Use the following talking points to customize your message:

  • Before this change was made, seniority-based placement was regular practice and new teachers would be laid off while senior teachers decided where they would teach. This is bad for the teaching profession and bad for the school.
  • If these subjects are reinstated, a seniority-based system for teacher placement and layoff and recall would hurt efforts to attract and retain new, young and diverse teachers.
  • Kids need the best teachers in front of them. The school district is in the best position to determine which teachers fit best in each classroom, especially in difficult areas to place like special education and at-risk programs.
  • Requiring bargaining on teacher placement in the past created seniority-based bumping systems which prevented students from getting the best-fit teacher for their classrooms.
  • Seniority-based placement can lead to more experienced teachers choosing schools with the least amount of behavioral, disciplinary and poverty issues, when we know it’s those students that need the experienced teachers the most. 
  • Title 1 buildings then end up with the newest and least experienced teachers, which can lead to burnout in new teachers who are not yet equipped to succeed in those more challenging classrooms.
  • When layoff and recall was a bargainable subject, contracts commonly included language basing those decisions on seniority. This would further discourage new, young and diverse teachers from entering and staying in the profession.
  • Bargaining on discipline and dismissal will make it significantly harder for districts to evaluate and determine how to address employment or certification issues and will prolong negotiations.
  • Schools need the discretion to be able to act quickly to get teachers out of the classroom if the safety of students is at risk.
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