Teachers at the largest school districts in the state are planning to walk out in protest of their pay and education funding on Thursday and Friday this week. During this wrong-headed labor action, hundreds of thousands of students will miss class, and families will scramble to find child care to accommodate teacher whining.
It is politically tone deaf for this group of professionals who work far fewer days than the rest of us, to walk out on a scheduled work day. This forces working parents to take the day off work and lose income. It also deprives students of the opportunity to learn. Remember, this is on the heels of schools closing down for anti-Second Amendment protests just a few weeks ago.
But while public school teachers were preparing to unleash chaos on working families in Colorado, Republicans in the state legislature were putting pen to paper to try to head this off in the future.
SB18-264, written by State Senator Bob Gardner and sponsored in the House by Paul Lundeen, makes it a crime for government school teachers to strike, and it states that school districts are not permitted to pay teachers for a day off if they choose to strike.
The bill goes further to authorize school districts to go to court for a preliminary injunction against imminent strikes, and stipulates that if an individual teacher, or group of teachers, refuses to comply with the injunction, they are in contempt of court. If a teacher is found in contempt for disobeying the injunction, the school district is instructed to immediately fire the teacher without a hearing. If a teachers union is found in contempt, it loses its collective bargaining agreement.
We are totally in favor of teachers petitioning their government for better pay, more classroom dollars, or, quite frankly, anything they want. Just on their own time, and on their own dime.
We expect this bill – in one form or another – to make it out of the Senate committee and onto the floor for a vote. While it is doubtful to get through the Democrat-controlled House, which is bought and paid for by the teachers’ unions, it sends a message and will put people on record. Republicans will stand up for our students and working families.