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Bill To Let School Staff Bargain Fails

Sen. Tim Tucker’s attempt to grant school support personnel the same collective bargaining power that teachers enjoy failed in the Senate Education Committee Monday.

“These are the people who really keep the doors open,” said Tucker. He said support personnel - bus drivers, cooks, custodians - deserve a better process where “they can have a formal dialogue with their school district.”

Anticipating defeat of the bill Tucker, D-Porthill, also proposed a watered-down version of the bill that would require school boards to “meet in good faith” with support personnel representatives.

That bill passed and will be considered by the Senate.

“You all have more job security in the Senate than we do, you only have to worry about getting re-elected every other year,” said Sue Padula, who helps Kellogg elementary school students with math and reading problems. “They can choose to terminate us at any time.”