Committee Passage of HB 1749 is "Shameful"
The members of the Oklahoma Education Association are deeply disappointed by today's passage of House Bill 1749 out of the Senate General Government Committee. The bill takes away the right of education employees to use payroll deduction to maintain their membership in the professional association of their choice.
Public employees throughout the state have countless opportunities to voluntarily send a portion of their paycheck each month to automatically pay their bills, make charitable contributions, subscribe to magazines, put money into savings accounts, and more. In authoring House Bill 1749, Rep. Tom Newell (Seminole) and Sen. Nathan Dahm (Tulsa) have chosen to single out education employees' right to send dues to a professional organization using payroll deduction. No other profession or type of deduction is affected by HB1749. Payroll deduction is currently the most convenient method to maintain membership in an association and it is utilized by members of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, Oklahoma Public Employees Association, and police and fire associations all over the state.
This bill is, without a doubt, an attempt to silence the members of the Oklahoma Education Association," said OEA President Linda Hampton. "If they wanted to silence the medical community they'd go after medical associations or if they wanted to silence any other profession they'd go after their professional association but, no, they only want to silence teachers. This is shameful, simply shameful.
"In supporting this bill, legislators are saying they are sick of teachers telling them about the needs of Oklahoma's public schools and their students.
"We have real education issues to focus on in this state, and despite HB 1749, we will keep working to do what's best for Oklahoma's students. I hope our legislators will do the same."
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