The Virginia Legislature passed a law last year that allows localities to determine if they will permit or not permit collective bargaining for its public employees.
THIS Tuesday, the Virginia Beach School Board has on the agenda a resolution up for a vote. The resolution will permit the Superintendent and/or the City Attorney to hire consultants or acquire services to study or develop collective bargaining or related services and defer a final decision on the topic until next year. There is no maximum dollar amount set in the resolution for the spending.
The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) is an organization that is typically on the left side of issues pertaining to education but they are against collective bargaining. The chief lobbyist for the VSBA stated in The Center Square “We are particularly concerned the collective bargaining will drive up costs and divert resources away from classrooms to be spent instead on lawyers and arbitrations and protracted bargaining,” Haney said. “We are also concerned that collective bargaining will have an adverse effect on student performance and that it can also be used to protect ineffective teachers.”
Some districts have had to set aside millions of dollars just for increased staffing, overhead and legal fees to just to manage the collective bargaining process.
The VBEA is the local union that represents just a very small fraction of Virginia Beach employees, yet they wield a lot of influence as a subsidiary of the NEA. They have 3 union members who are also members of the Virginia Beach School Board (Anderson, Riggs, Holtz). One of their union members is still listed on the VBEA website on their leadership page. Will these members recuse themselves from voting on this topic? They didn't recuse themselves from the closed session meeting on the topic at the last school board meeting (Anderson was absent). Just a reminder that this is the same union who fought very hard to keep school buildings closed and held a protest rally with the "grim reaper" walking around the administration parking lot stoking fear. Are these the people you want having control over public education?
If you oppose collective bargaining for public school employees, please send an email to the school board and tell them to not spend any money on collective bargaining and to vote to not permit it in any manner. Voting to defer will still cost the taxpayers money that should be going to the classroom not legal fees! If you believe that school board members who are also union members have a conflict in voting on this topic, please also let the board know.