House backs representation bargaining bill

The House passed a bill Thursday that would require teachers unions to represent a majority of educators in their district.

Senate Bill 1149, which cleared the House along a party line vote 57-13, would require a teachers union to supply written proof to the district that it represents more than half of the educators – if the school board requests such proof.

The bill is one of a handful of labor and bargaining bills brought this year by the Idaho School Boards Association.

TerryGestrin1964
Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly

Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, said the bill is necessary to ensure that an education association represents a majority of the teachers when it sits down at the bargaining table.

Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, opposed the bill after saying it is a direct reinstatement of some of the language from the repealed Proposition 1, which voters shot down in November.

In other action Thursday, the House passed a bill that would limit salary and negotiations portions of master agreements to one year. Senate Bill 1147, would also require that all other elements of master agreements – such as class sizes and calendars – be limited to two years.

The bill does not affect individual teachers’ contracts, only the master agreements that include everything that was negotiated.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our weekly newsletter »

Sponsoring Rep. Julie VanOrden, R-Pingree, said the bill is necessary because it is often difficult to remove elements from master agreements once they are in there – even if budgets or enrollment have changed.

JulieVanOrden2129
Rep. Julie VanOrden, R-Pingree

That bill passed on a 56-13 vote.

Both bills previously passed the Senate, and now head to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk.