Local Teachers Union in Kansas Decertifies from State and National Unions
Alexandria, VA— Riley County Educators (RCE), the local union for the teachers of Riley County, Kansas, made an historic move this month, as they voted to decertify from the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). RCE will now serve as the negotiating agent for the school district, a position that had previously been held by the Riley County Education Association (RCEA), a KNEA/NEA chapter.
The process to decertify officially began in November 2008, when several teachers in the district joined together to form a new association. They filed the necessary paperwork to be able to be considered as a bargaining unit, and held the official vote last Friday to remove the RCEA, along with its state and national affiliations, and appoint the RCE as the official negotiating representative for the district.
“We are very happy to be able to represent the teachers of Riley County,” said Garry Sigle, spokesperson for RCE. “We just want all teachers in the district to have the opportunity to be an officer in the organization or sit at the negotiating table.”
Other benefits previously provided by KNEA to RCEA members, such as liability insurance and legal protection, will be available to all members of RCE from the Association of American Educators (AAE).
“We are pleased to assist RCE’s efforts in becoming a local-only organization,” said La Rae Munk, AAE Director of Legal Services. “Teachers should have the right to be self-governed and make their own decisions regarding their employment.”
This decision is the latest in a nationwide movement of teachers away from union affiliation toward a more self-governed approach when it comes to collective bargaining. Teachers in Washington, California, Illinois, and Iowa, among others, have all chosen either self-representation or local union representation over membership in the state and national unions.
Dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student, the Association of American Educators is the premier educators’ network that advances the teaching profession through teacher advocacy and protection, professional development and promoting excellence in education so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. www.aaeteachers.org.