CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Some Montgomery County teachers say they want a seat at the table when it comes to addressing pay and classroom concerns.
That’s why they’re part of a growing push in Virginia for collective bargaining rights, which was a hot topic at Tuesday night’s Montgomery County school board meeting.
During the meeting, the Montgomery County School Board got their first glance at a draft resolution to allow educators to collectively bargain.
It would allow a group of employees to negotiate wages and other working conditions.
After the Virginia General Assembly lifted a ban on collective bargaining in 2020, some groups are fighting for collective bargaining rights for their school district.
The Montgomery County Education Association, an affiliate of the Unioned Virginia Education Association, started its pushback in 2021. Several of the members are teachers currently teaching in Montgomery County.
Teachers said it’s all about giving educators a seat at the discussion table.
“It is only fair that the educators that know the students’ names can be allowed to collaborate on matters that affect them and their students,” Glen Chilocote, Chair of the Montgomery County Education Association said.
Those against the resolution include Chris Obenshaine who’s running for State Delegate.
Obenshaine said it may give one seat at the table but take away others.
“It will deny a seat at the table and a voice for parents, for students, for taxpayers, and really for anyone who’s not a designated union representative,” Obenshain said.
The school board only looked at a draft composed by the school system’s attorney during the meeting, and a resolution vote will come at a later date.