By Julie Hubbard/The Tennessean
Middle Tennessee educators are dropping their union memberships by the hundreds since state lawmakers wiped out teachers unions’ collective bargaining rights.
In October 2010, about 1,150 Sumner County teachers paid union dues from school paychecks. Union membership has dropped to 650 or lower now, a school board attorney estimates. Metro Nashville Education Association membership is down about 500 teachers.
This year, the legislature stripped teachers unions of their legal right to bargain with school boards over contracts, their primary purpose. Without that right, unions are left to handle professional development and grievances, and fewer teachers are seeing the need to pay around $300 a year for those services.