by Jim Ridley
Education reformers who accuse teachers' unions of impeding progress may have an ally in the Tennessee Republican Party. Jeff Woods reports that GOP legislators are hammering the Tennessee Education Association with proposed bills that would do everything from stripping the union's collective bargaining powers to banning labor organizations from contributing to political campaigns.
Could this be because the TEA contributed to losing Democrats across the state in last year's electoral Waterloo, Woods wonders? Didn't think so:
Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove, said his bill to end automatic paycheck withdrawals [for public-employee union dues] is intended only to save cities and counties the administrative costs. Regarding another of his bills, he said he wants to ban unions’ political contributions because state law already prohibits campaign giving by corporations.
“If the goal is to keep outside money out of politics, then it should apply to unions as well,” Casada said. “However we decide to do it, we should treat corporations and unions the same.”