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SNEA Elected as First-Ever Representation for Springfield Teachers

Almost three years after the Missouri Supreme Court ruling that upheld the collective bargaining rights of teachers, Springfield Public Schools’ teachers voted to be represented by the Springfield National Education Association. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.

All eligible teachers, counselors, and librarians were able to cast their vote on Thursday evening, and the majority chose the Springfield NEA. Ray Smith, president of SNEA, said the next step for the organization will be to assemble and train a bargaining team of teachers that represent all areas of the public schools.

“We would like to see some teacher-driven improvements to this district. In a district this large, the teachers have needs that can’t always be addressed without a system in place, and this provides the system. We’re going to represent all the teachers as best we can,” said Smith.

Smith said SNEA has recently surveyed the teachers to find out their priorities. Salary negotiations are a top priority, but Smith says he realizes the district has economic concerns.

“As far as budgetary items, everybody knows that the economic concerns out there are very real and this is not a time you can go making demands for huge salary increases,” said Smith.

Other areas Smith says teachers also want to negotiate are policy issues including sick leave and student discipline, and he plans to conduct further surveys to find out how to best represent Springfield teachers.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.