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MISSOURI SUPREME COURT | Public workers School case may prove pivotal (KC Star)

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-13-07 08:12 PM
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MISSOURI SUPREME COURT | Public workers School case may prove pivotal (KC Star)

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/16884331.htm

MISSOURI SUPREME COURT | Public workers
School case may prove pivotal
Independence unions seek collective-bargaining rights.
By MIKE SHERRY
The Kansas City Star

Depending on your perspective, giving Missouris government workers more say in setting their compensation would either soak taxpayers or give employees much-deserved rights.

This decades-long debate has consistently come down against public employees, but a court fight out of the Independence School District is playing a key role in what may be labors best shot at achieving this long-sought goal.

The Independence case, and a similar one out of St. Louis, is now before the Missouri Supreme Court, where five of the seven judges are Democratic appointees. That does not guarantee a pro-labor majority, but some legal analysts said this court could be the one to overturn a six-decade-old precedent that excludes public employees from the state constitutions grant of collective-bargaining rights.

Time has passed that decision by, said Bruce Feldacker, a St. Louis attorney who represents unions and is a mediator in labor disputes.

Indeed, say attorneys for the Independence unions, more than half the states give public employees some collective-bargaining rights.

That includes Kansas, where teachers and other government workers have had limited collective-bargaining rights since the 1970s. They do not have the right to strike, and the Independence unions are not seeking that right, either.

The Independence case, which has cost the district $300,000 in legal fees, has ironically reached the high court at a time when labor relations in the district are markedly better than they were when the lawsuit was filed four years ago.

At the least, the unions suing the district want input into how the negotiations are conducted and they want binding agreements, said one of their attorneys, Loretta K. Haggard.

FULL story at link.

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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-13-07 08:26 PM
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1. This is really something. I went to school in KC, MO right by Indepedence
It was fun to read the Star tho
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-13-07 08:28 PM
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2. I hope the labor side wins this one...
Edited on Tue Mar-13-07 08:29 PM by Solon
I worked as a Janitor at a Public School District near St. Louis a few years ago, pay and working conditions, to put it mildly, sucked.
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