Democrats may soon be loading up those buses in Madison and heading their mobs toward Nashville. The Tennessee state senate Education Committee voted Wednesday to abolish collective bargaining with teachers. Tom Humphrey of Knoxnews.com reports:
House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart of Hendersonville hailed the Senate vote as a sign of legislative readiness to 'wrestle away control from the selfish interests of the unions and give it to parents and teachers.'
'This General Assembly has the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw off the shackles of the union bosses and be a legitimate difference-maker in the classroom.'
The bill can now go to the Senate floor as early as Feb. 23. The initial House vote has not yet been scheduled.
More and more states are waking up to the reality that collective bargaining with public employees is wrong -- something recognized by no less a liberal icon than Franklin Delano Roosevelt. When unions make huge campaign contributions to politicians, they effectively sit on both sides of the bargaining table.
I hope that this policy spreads like wildfire among the states, fuelled by the budget crises facing most states. It is long past time to reverse the structural change that began in the 1960s, allowing public unions to bargain and simultaneously fund politicians. That is the root of our current fiscal crisis. Of course, public worker unions are also a key basis of support for Democrats, so they will fight like crazy. In the currenty public climate, it amounts to taxpayers versus government unions.