Montgomery County teachers argue for and against union

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Teachers lined the podium Tuesday night in support of the Montgomery County Education Association and its efforts to create a teachers’ union.

Katie Seidemann is a neighborhood music teacher who wants to unionize.

“I want to have a seat at the table when decisions are made about my job, my working conditions, my colleagues’ working conditions and my students’ learning conditions,” she said. .

Several teachers argued for collective bargaining, which would allow them to negotiate class sizes and decide what is allowed to be taught in their classrooms, as well as having a say in salaries.

Supporters say taxes would not be pushed higher by unions, which was a popular concern. Deidre Reynolds-Journey, a former member of the teachers’ union, stepped in to argue against unionization. She said the council’s track record has benefited teachers and shown that teachers already have a seat at the table.

“State after state, members of teachers’ unions pay high dues, suffer exorbitant salaries and hold vastly underfunded pensions, so their retirement is at risk,” she said.

The board did not vote on the union.

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