A bill was recently introduced into the Colorado Senate that aims to prohibit public school teachers’ ability to go on strike.
SB18-264 would prohibit public school teachers and teacher organizations from directly or indirectly inducing, instigating, encouraging, authorizing, ratifying, or participating in a strike against any public school employer. In addition, and public school employer would be prohibited from consenting to or condoning a strike, as well as being prohibited from paying a public school teacher for any day they participate in a strike.
As part of the bill, a public school employer would be authorized to seek an injunction from a district court if a strike were to happen, or if there was imminent threat of a strike in violation of the proposed bill. If a public school teacher or teacher organization failed to comply with a district court injunction, they could be held in contempt of court and punished with fines or up to six months in county jail, or both.
Another facet of the bill is that if a public school teacher is found in contempt of court for failure to comply with an injunction, then the public school employer must immediately terminate said teacher’s employment, without a hearing. Penalties may be suspended or modified by the court if the public school employer so requests, and the court finds it is in the public interest to do so.
SB18-264 is sponsored primarily by Senator Bob Gardner from Colorado Springs, and Representative Paul Lundeen from Monument.