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A bill that has passed through the Kansas House has drawn the ire of the United Teachers of Wichita.
House Bill 2023 would stop voluntary automatic payroll deductions from union employee paychecks that a union could funnel to political activities. UTW President Randy Mousley said the bill would take away the voice of the teachers.
"The bond issues that we worked with the proponents in the 2000 and 2008 bond issues, that would be prohibited," Mousley said. "We would be prohibited from being part of the process for school board members, which we kind of think we have a vested interest in that."
Mousley said the legislature is taking "open season" on Kansas teachers.
"There is a court decision saying the legislature is out of compliance with the constitution regarding the funding for schools, yet the most important item for legislative leaders seems to be attacking teachers," he said.
Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, has said unions are using teacher contributions - funded by taxpayers - to support positions taxpayers do not agree with.
Mousley said there is no benefit to the state in the legislation. He said the bill is trying to silence unions and public sector employees.
There are over 4,200 teachers in Wichita. Mousley said not every teacher has to pay dues and be part of the union, but they all reap the benefits of the negotiated agreements.
"This bill is a union-busting bill, without a doubt, but it will effect every one of them," he said.