CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Teachers lined up at the podium Tuesday night in favor of the Montgomery County Education Association and its efforts to build a teachers union.

Katie Seidemann is a music teacher at Montgomery County Public Schools who wants to unionize.

“I want to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made about my job, about my working conditions, about the working conditions of my coworkers, and about the learning conditions of my students,” she said.

Several teachers argued for collective bargaining, which would allow them to negotiate class sizes and decide what is allowed to be taught in their classrooms, as well as have input on pay.

Advocates say taxes would not be pushed higher by unions, which was a popular concern.

Deidre Reynolds-Journey, a former teachers union member, stepped up to argue against unionizing. She says the board’s track record has benefited teachers and shown that teachers already have a seat at the table.

“In state after state, teachers union members do pay high dues, suffer from back end loaded salaries and hold pensions that are grossly underfunded so their retirement is threatened,” Reynolds-Journey said.

The board did not vote on the union.