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Teachers union says merit pay violates constitution

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM
  • 7 Replies

Teachers union says merit pay law violates constitution; sues to overturn it


By John Kennedy

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Posted: 11:56 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011

— The Florida Education Association today sued to overturn the new state law that ends teacher tenure and introduces merit pay based in large part on how students perform on standardized tests.

The state's largest teachers' union said the measure - approved by the Republican-ruled Legislature and the first bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott - violates constitutional collective bargaining guarantees.

Employment terms are to be decided by negotiations between teachers and school districts - not by state lawmakers, said Ron Meyer, attorney for the FEA, which filed the suit on behalf of six school teachers.

"It strains credulity that people in Tallahassee, over in the Capitol, know better than the people on the ground," Meyer said.

Andy Ford, FEA president, said the new standard - approved in a mostly party-line vote, with legislative Democrats opposed - "totally changed the teaching profession in Florida."

"It denies teachers the constitutional right to collective bargaining," Ford said.

The merit pay legislation requires that 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation be based on student achievement on tests - including the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and other standardized exams, most of which must still be developed by state and local educators.

Under the bill, current teachers would retain existing pay schedules and contracts - even those spanning multi-years. They could lose their jobs, though, if they drew two subpar annual evaluations within three years.

Teachers hired after July 1, however, are limited to one-year contracts and would draw raises only if rated "effective" or "highly effective."

Former Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a similar bill last year. But during last fall's governor's race, Scott made ending teacher tenure and enacting merit pay a central portion of his campaign, with the FEA throwing in heavily behind Democrat Alex Sink.



So my question is, when did collective bargaining become a constitutional right?

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM
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Replies (1-7):
Carpy
by Emerald Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Is the right to collectively bargain in the constitution?   I missed that part.

wymama610
by Silver Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Pretty sure that is because it doesn't exist.  God forbid teachers have to rely on performance reviews for raises like the rest of us though......

Quoting Carpy:

Is the right to collectively bargain in the constitution?   I missed that part.


mamaof2angles
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM
I agree!


Quoting Carpy:

Is the right to collectively bargain in the constitution?   I missed that part.


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BleedinHeartMom
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:04 PM
but its ok to give hundreds of thousand of dollars to politicians to do absolutely nothing..how about directing that anger to the real source of the problem
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lovinangels
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:10 PM
I agree politicians are overpaid, however, I agree that teachers should be held individually accountable for results.

Quoting BleedinHeartMom:

but its ok to give hundreds of thousand of dollars to politicians to do absolutely nothing..how about directing that anger to the real source of the problem
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candlegal
by Judy on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I think we all missed it

Quoting Carpy:

Is the right to collectively bargain in the constitution?   I missed that part.


tooptimistic
by Kelly on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:50 PM


Quoting BleedinHeartMom:

but its ok to give hundreds of thousand of dollars to politicians to do absolutely nothing..how about directing that anger to the real source of the problem

That's not ok either.. we should give them merit pay too based on how much they actually accomplish.  :)

I agree with teacher's pay based on results.  I think they should have an impartial yearly evaluation along with the testing, so their pay isn't based solely on tests. 

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