The final version of Senate Bill 8 has emerged from conference committee, and it is as bad as ever. Please keep calling your state representatives to demand they vote AGAINST the conference report on Senate Bill 8 when it hits the House floor this week. Use the toll-free number, 800-260-5444.
It is extra important that you call NOW because this version of the bill, if approved by both the House and the Senate before the special session adjourns on Wednesday, will go to the governor for signature into law! This bill attacks teachers, not the budget crisis!
SB8 would cut teacher pay in two ways:
- It would allow districts to order teacher furloughs for as many as six non-instructional days a year and reduce their pay accordingly.
- It would PERMANENTLY remove the 2009 floor on teacher pay and allow districts to cut the pay of returning teachers.
- SB8 also would PERMANENTLY weaken teacher employment rights:
- It changes the deadline for notification of non-renewal of a teacher’s contract or termination of a probationary teacher from the 45th day to the 10th day before the end of instruction. This would give teachers who are laid off less time to find new jobs for the next school year.
- It allows school districts to declare a financial emergency at any time for purposes of imposing a reduction in force and removes seniority as a factor in determining dismissals when RIFs are imposed. Teachers would be fired instead on the basis of teacher appraisals or other criteria determined by the school board.
- It would eliminate a teacher’s right to an independent hearing in cases of mid-year terminations related to RIFs.
We must stop these attempts to harm educators and the public schools. Please call your state representative and let him or her know what these changes will mean for you, your classroom, your school and your community.
To contact your state representative, call 800-260-5444, and we will connect you. You must call TODAY! Leaving a voice message with your representative’s office is just as good as talking to a staff member.
It is important to include the following points in your conversation or message:
- Your name, that you are a TSTA member and that you live and vote in their district.
- Your own story, how furloughing teachers, cutting their pay and weakening their employment rights would hurt the quality of education in your school and for your students.
Ask your representative to refuse to participate in this unwarranted attack on teachers and public schools.
This will take only a few minutes of your time, and it will be time well spent. Your representative needs to hear from you NOW!