FEA teachers union sues over merit pay, tenure law

Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the state over tenure and pay for new teachers. Lynn Hatter reports the teachers union says the law is unconstitutional and violates collective bargaining rights.

The Florida Education Association says the legislature overstepped its authority when it passed Senate Bill 736 last session. It was the first piece of legislation Governor Rick Scott signed, and it sets up a pay-for-performance system in addition to placing new teachers on one-year contracts. Ron Meyer represents the Florida Education Association.

"Here is a law that the legislature passed that affects every aspect of the wages, hours and the terms and conditions of the education employees employed within the 67 school districts across this state without according an opportunity for the employees to engage in any meaningful collective bargaining."

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the pro-school choice group, Foundation for Florida's Future are criticizing the union's actions. They say the lawsuit is an attempt to block what they call meaningful education reform. The lawsuit names State Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson, the Florida State Board of Education and the Department of Education as defendants.