State Anti-OEA Bills

Post date: Feb 23, 2011 3:03:35 AM

The Republican governor and legislators in Wisconsin have made national news for their effort to strip government employees and teachers of their collective bargaining rights while increasing their pension and health care costs. That has led to speculation about whether similar anti-union measures would be pressed in other states where anti-union Republicans control the governorship and legislature.

After decades of Democratic rule in Oklahoma, Republicans took control of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2004, the Oklahoma Senate in 2008, and in 2010 the party swept all statewide elected offices. What sort of anti-union bills have already been filed in Oklahoma?

House Bill 1378 by Representative Corey Holland would have ended collective bargaining for Oklahoma's teachers, but it was withdrawn by Mr. Holland and not heard in committee.

House Bill 1651 by Representative John Enns prohibits school districts from making payroll deducations for employee's professional organization dues. Since 99 percent of all Oklahoma Education Association dues are through payroll deduction, this bill attempts to undermine the organization by making it far more difficult for teachers to pay their dues and support the organization.

3/2 UPDATE: Representative Enns has agreed to not pursue HB 1651 this session and the bill will not be heard in committee.

House Bill 1648 by Representative Tom Newell prohibits teachers who become officers in the Oklahoma Education Association and temporarily leave their teaching positions for their statewide jobs from continuing to participate in the teacher retirement system.