You’d never know it from looking at the version of SB 673 – Fairness in Negotiations Act still on the Maryland General Assembly web site, but the bill was drastically rewritten in the last few days, so much so that Senator Barry Glassman withdrew his sponsorship and voted against the bill in the Senate Finance Committee on Saturday night. But the bill passed out of that committee anyway and is headed for a vote on the floor of the Senate today.
The exact details of the changes made to SB 673 are not known, as a reprint was not available as of this morning (Monday). Glassman said the last minute changes and the uncertainty regarding the details contributed to his decision to vote against the bill.
“Call to Action”
The rewrite of the bill came to light last week, when the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), which has opposed SB 673, issued a “Call to Action” against the proposed amendments, including the establishment of a public education labor relations board. But according to Glassman, once the bill was put on a fast track, MABE and the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) negotiated “through the night, under duress” on Friday, to try to make changes to the proposed amendments. A reprint of SB 673 will be posted on The Dagger as soon as it becomes available.
Sen. Glassman reports the Fairness in Negotiations Act passed in the Senate but ran out of time in the House. The report came in an email time-stamped after midnight Monday, the expected close of this year’s General Assembly session.
Obviously it’s a bit early to be making phone calls, but I plan to follow-up on this information later today.
Del. Susan McComas said the Fairness in Negotiations Act never made it out of committee on the House side, so the bill is dead for this session.
Thank God that the Fairness in Negotiations Act did not pass.
I have only a rough idea of what it involves, but it is my understanding that a committee of 5 people, 2 picked by the union, 2 picked by Maryland State Dept of Education or Maryland Board of Education, I’m not sure which, and 1 person agreed to by both union and Maryland State Dept of Ed ………. would have had power to make final decisions on union contracts and individuals previously made by County Boards of Education. This committee would have had the power to force a local Board of Education to spend money on certain teacher raises, a personnel issue, etc.
It is already outrageously hard to remove terrible teachers from the classroom. Other teachers, parents, administrators work their hearts out to compensate for terrible teacher behavior.
The educational potential of our children in public schools is being sacrificed in order to increase the political power of the Maryland Education Association. It is simply heartwrenching.
Maybe this is one of the things that a BOE member was referring to, when they said last fall that local Boards of Education are “under attack”. I believe the Race to the Top funds are another.
We are electing people who act coldly and irresponsibly towards even our children.
Cindy Mumby says
Sorry PTAMom, but the Fairness in Negotiations Act did pass in the 2010 session, with amendments. (It failed in 2009, which was the original date of this story).
Here’s a link to this year’s bill