Senate committee passes teachers union strike banby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A state Senate committee approved a measure today that would ban Minnesota teachers from striking and send labor negotiations to arbitration.
The measure is one of about a dozen bills aimed at changing bargaining rules for the state's public school teachers. Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie is pushing the strike ban.
Minnesota Association of School Administrators director Charlie Kyte spoke in favor of the bill at the Capitol.
"If they're not concluded, have both sides then move towards a binding arbitration to come to resolution on whatever differences they have. We think this would be a professional way of doing it," Kyte said. "We think it would remove any kind of tension from the school day and the school year. And it would be a positive change for our schools."
Apple Valley business education teacher Jim Smola told lawmakers it was a bad idea to change the current collective bargaining system.
"It really takes away the teachers voice in the process. Nobody wants to deliberately drag on the process," he said. "Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to come to a solution that both sides can agree on. It would really undermine what I feel has been a process in Minnesota that works."
The bill passed the Senate State Government Committee by an 8-5 vote. It goes next to the Senate education committee.