As Wisconsin teachers and other public union workers take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his plans to end collective bargaining, Arizona teachers wonder: Could there be an impact here?
Unlike Wisconsin, Arizona is a right-to-work state, along with 21 other states. The National Education Association has an affiliate here – the Arizona Education Association – and most school districts have individual chapters. But Arizona doesn’t have collective bargaining, what public workers are arguing to keep intact in Wisconsin.
The education association represents teachers when lobbying Arizona lawmakers and in negotiation efforts, such as “meet and confer” or “interest based bargaining” with school district leadership.
“With collective bargaining, you’re a little more of a partner at the table than what we see here. In some regards we are a partner, but there are other issues we’re not always included on,” Mesa Education Association president Kirk Hinsey said, pointing out that a school district’s governing board ultimately makes the decisions.