April 7, 2021

Bill Mandating Teachers Annually Opt In For Union Membership Heads To Governor

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Indiana State Teachers Association logo atop its headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.  - Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana State Teachers Association logo atop its headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana House made a final vote of approval Tuesday on legislation directed at the Indiana State Teachers Association. Now, with a stroke of the governor’s pen, it would become a law critics say is an attempt to weaken the state’s largest teacher union.

The legislation mandates that school districts have to get permission from teachers each year before deducting union dues from their paycheck. During the process, teachers must be reminded in large, bold font of their right not to join the union.

Bill sponsor Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) says it’s a “pro-teacher” and a “pro-freedom” measure.

Senate Bill 251 gives all teachers a voice by empowering them to make their own decisions,” he said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Rep. Mike Andrade (D-Munster) opposed the bill calling it a blatant attack on teachers that will only exacerbate the ongoing teacher shortage. 

“We continue to pass legislation that continues to hurt our teachers,” he said. “We are losing them by the droves in our state.”

With roughly 40,000 members, the Indiana State Teachers Association represents nearly 20 percent of all the union membership in the state. 

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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