Yesterday, the House State Government Subcommittee allowed a hostile bill detrimental to TSEA’s operations pass on to the full State Government Committee with little questioning.
The majority of provisions in the bill describe circumstances that do not apply to Tennessee.
The bill is SB0725 (Campfield) / HB0913 (Casada) and is a direct attack on TSEA. This bill falsely categorizes us as a union and describes a significant segment of what we do as “collective bargaining activity”. Of course TSEA is not now, nor has ever been involved in Collective Bargaining activity, as it is against the law here in the state of Tennessee. This bill seeks to give our members, on a yearly basis, the option of instructing us to spend their dues solely on illegal activities (“collective bargaining activities”). If any of our members were to actually direct us, at any point, to spend their money only on “collective bargaining activity”, we would of course be forced to ignore such a request as we are not in the business of breaking the law.
TSEA allows our members, by way of their initial membership application, to indicate if they wish none of their dues to be directed to, or used by, our political Action Committee (PAC). This bill seeks to put this procedure, that we currently follow, in to state law. While we have no major objection to this particular provision of the bill, we simply do not see it as necessary.
Additionally, the bill seeks to reduce the number of state employees who are eligible to attend our annual Representative Assembly, and to reduce the amount of time our President can spend on TSEA activities while on unpaid leave.
The sponsors indicate that this bill is intended to apply to all union activity in Tennessee, but in reality the bill directly targets TSEA and does not affect any other organization in the state. All of this constitutes a pointed and direct attack on TSEA. The irony of the situation is that this attack originates not with our state legislature, or any Tennessee organization, but with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – which apparently knows little to nothing about the way things are done in the Volunteer State.
Please Take Action and Help Kill this Bill!
It is very important that you contact the following committee members and ask them to oppose this bill. Please do so prior to the Commerce and Labor Committee Meeting which will be held Monday, March 18th @ 3:00 pm.
House State Government Committee
|Ryan Haynes, Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-2264|
|Sheila Butt, Vice-Chairemail@example.com||(615) 741-3005|
|Joshua Evansfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-2860|
|Darren Jerniganemail@example.com||(615) 741-6959|
|Debra Moodyfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-3774|
|Jason Powellemail@example.com||(615) 741-6861|
|Bob Ramseyfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-3560|
|Bill Sandersonemail@example.com||(615) 741-0718|
|Johnny Shawfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-4538|
|Billy Spiveyemail@example.com||(615) 741-4170|
|Curry Toddfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-1866|
|Eric Watsonemail@example.com||(615) 741-7799|
|Kent Williamsfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-7450|
Senate Commerce & Labor Committee
|Jack Johnson, Chairemail@example.com||(615) 741-2495|
|Mark Green, 1st Vice Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-2374|
|Charlotte Burks, 2nd Vice Chairemail@example.com||(615) 741-3978|
|Dolores Greshamfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-2368|
|Steve Southerlandemail@example.com||(615) 741-3851|
|Reginald Tatefirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-2509|
|Jim Tracyemail@example.com||(615) 741-1006|
|Bo Watsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||(615) 741-3227|
|Ken Yageremail@example.com||(615) 741-1449|
Thank you for taking action!