The board of directors at La Center, Washington, School District unanimously passed a right-to-work resolution April 28.
The resolution, entitled “right to choose,” puts the school district on record supporting “right-to-work,” which allows employees to work at the district and receive representation from their union without any obligation to pay dues.
Under Washington state law, however, the school board doesn’t have the authority to change union rules, so the action was symbolic, albeit divisive.
The Columbian newspaper reported the vote came after a 40-minute discussion drawing an unusually large crowd of several dozen people. School Superintendent Mark Mansell emailed the newspaper: “It was clear to me that the majority of the audience was not in favor of the resolution based on the number of speakers and periodic clapping.”
Service Employees International Union Local 925 represents classified employees at the school district. It is working under a collective bargaining agreement that contains a union security clause. The contract expires Aug. 31.
Teachers are represented by the La Center Education Association. They renewed their contract last year. It runs through the end of August 2017.
La Center School District is located in Clark County and serves approximately 1,600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The District operates one elementary school, one middle school and one high school. The District operates on an annual fund budget of over $14.5 million with approximately 150 employees.
The board of directors are Wendy Chord, Todd Jones, John Parsons, Bob Taylor, and Cris Yaw.