VERMILLION, Kans. – Teachers in a Kansas school district made a bold statement last Friday when they voted to decertify their union.
The teachers from Vermillion Unified School District 380 voted by a margin of 27-9-1 to end collective bargaining representation by the Kansas National Education Association, reports CJonline.com.
The Vermillion teachers joined their de-certified peers in Kansas’ Deerfield school district, who voted to drop the NEA last June.
Garry Sigle, who is executive director of the Kansas Association of American Educators, a non-union professional organization for educators, worked with the teachers in their efforts to decertify.
He wrote via email to CJonline that “the unaffiliated group of teachers that I had been working with won the election over the KNEA affiliated group.”
When the news organization followed up by phone, Sigle said that all Vermillion teachers will now have a say in collective bargaining talks, rather than only those who pay KNEA dues getting a vote.
The process had been underway for quite some time, which is no surprise considering that it is substantially harder for teachers to get out of a union than it is for them to join one.
Karen Godfrey, president of the KNEA, said this was not unexpected.
“It’s always a right that they have to do that,” Godfrey said. “And we will still have members in Vermillion, and we’ll provide membership opportunities to those members.”