FreedomWorks is a leading grassroots organization with over one million members fighting for lower taxes, less government and more freedom. I am writing to urge you to vote YES on SB113 which would prohibit collective bargaining between teacher unions and local school boards also referred to as LEAs in Tennessee. Introduced by Senator Jack Johnson (District 23), this bill would bring cost effectiveness and competiveness back to the local school systems.
It’s estimated that 31 LEAs across Tennessee shell out roughly $10,000 each in stipends to appointed collective bargaining negotiators annually; this is a total estimated cost $310,000 to fund negotiations alone. The cost of collective bargaining is then increased further by an average of $125,000 lost to legal fees battling lawsuits against reached agreements. Total litigation and negotiation costs for LEAs across the board are just shy of half a million dollars annually. These unnecessary costs can be eliminated and education funds re-allocated under the Tennessee Legislature’s proposal.
In Tennessee, those represented by unions under collective bargaining agreements can on average expect to unnecessarily receive $596 more for their insurance premium than a teacher not forced into a union. Eliminating this disparity to the greatest extent that existing law permits would save LEA’s over $16 million dollars annually; which can, once again, be re-appropriated to more effective education funding.
Tennessee is focusing on reducing the costs associated with union negotiations and litigation as well as closing the disparity of benefits between those working under collective bargaining agreements and those who are not. By limiting the influence of collective bargaining over the apportionment of valuable LEA funding, Tennessee can direct funds at actually improving education or cracking its budget deficit. I urge you to support SB113 today for the sake of Tennessee taxpayers.
President and CEo
[Click here for a pdf version of this letter.]