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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Teacher's unions score big victories

From the Tampa Times, by Jeff Solochek

In case you missed it, two major developments in teacher union news occurred late Friday.

• A Wisconsin judge has struck down most of that state's 2011 law that restricted collective bargaining and nearly got Gov. Scott Walker ousted. The judge said the law unconstitutionally violated union members' freedom of speech. Walker called the ruling an act of a "liberal activist judge" and planned to appeal.

• The Chicago Teachers Union prepared to end its weeklong strike having won a tentative agreement that observers are saying strongly favors the union, which had been fighting efforts to tie evaluations and pay to student test results, among other issues. (Chicago Tribune, CTU website)

Many of the issues that teachers were fighting against in the Midwest are the same ones that Florida teachers have been contending with, either in laws that passed (SB 736 tied pay to student test results), or bills that failed (Sen. John Thrasher pushed a bill similar to the Wisconsin law but couldn't get enough support).

Anyone think that, with Gov. Rick Scott finally opening conversations with the Florida Education Association, the atmosphere might shift here? Or will the unions still have to fight their battles in the streets and the courts to try to get what they want?

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