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Introduced by Representatives Wright of Burlington, McAllister of Highgate, Komline of Dorset and O’Donnell of Vernon

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Education; teachers; collective bargaining; strikes; arbitration

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit teachers from striking and school boards from imposing contracts; to require mandatory binding arbitration; and to require that voters in a school district in which the mandated arbitration has resulted in a contract that exceeds the previous approved budget by more than a certain percentage be provided the opportunity to approve or disapprove of the budget.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 2011 is added to read:


(a)  If the parties’ dispute remains unresolved as to any issue on the fifteenth day after delivery of the fact‑finding commission’s report under section 2007 of this title or if the parties otherwise agree that they have reached an impasse, each party shall submit to the state labor relations board its last best offer on all undisputed issues which shall be reviewed and decided upon as a single package.  The labor relations board may hold hearings and may consider the recommendations of the fact-finding committee, if one has been activated. 

(b)  In reaching a decision, the labor relations board shall give weight to all relevant evidence presented by the parties, including:

(1)  The lawful authority of the school board.

(2)  Stipulations of the parties.

(3)  The interest and welfare of the public and the financial ability of the school board to pay for increased costs of public services, including the cost of labor.

(4)  Comparisons of the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the dispute with the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of other employees performing similar services in public schools in comparable communities or in private employment in comparable communities.

(5)  The average consumer prices for goods and services commonly known as the cost of living.

(6)  The overall compensation currently received by the employees including direct wages, fringe benefits, and continuity conditions and stability of employment, and all other benefits received.

(7)  Prior negotiations and existing conditions of other school and municipal employees.

(c)  Within 30 days of receiving the last best offers of the parties, the labor relations board shall select between these offers, considered in their entirety without amendment, and shall determine its cost.  The labor relations board shall not issue an order under this subsection that is in conflict with any law or rule or that relates to an issue that is not bargainable.  The labor relations board shall file one copy of the decision with each city or town clerk in the school district involved, the school board, and the recognized organization.  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the decision of the labor relations board shall be final and binding on the parties.

(d)  If the contract selected by the labor relations board in subsection (c) of this section includes a dollar amount, which represents the salary plus individual benefits for any step and column on the pay scale, that exceeds the dollar amount for the salary plus individual benefits for that step and column in the parties’ most recently approved contract by more than the State of Vermont’s most recent total rate of salary adjustment available to classified employees under the collective bargaining agreement plus two percent, then the selected contract shall be presented to the voters of the district at a meeting warned and held in the same manner in which the district budget meeting is warned and held, and the selected contract may be rejected by a majority vote.  If rejected by the voters, the other party’s last best offer, as submitted to the labor relations board pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall be final and binding on the parties. 

(e)  The parties shall share equally all mutually incurred costs incidental to this section.

(f)  Upon application of a party, a superior court shall vacate an award on the same grounds as set forth in 21 V.S.A. § 1733(d) and according to the same procedures as set forth in 21 V.S.A. § 1733(e).

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 924(e) is amended to read:

(e)  In addition to its responsibilities under this chapter, the board shall carry out the responsibilities given to it under chapter 57 of Title 16, chapters 19 and 22 of Title 21, and chapter 28 of this title and when so doing shall exercise the powers and follow the procedures set out in that chapter.

Sec. 3.  REPEAL

The following sections of Title 16 are repealed:

(1)  § 2008 (finality of school board decisions).

(2)  § 2010 (injunctions granted only if action poses clear and present danger).

(3)  § 2021 (negotiated binding interest arbitration).

(4)  § 2022 (selection and decision of arbitrator).

(5)  § 2023 (jurisdiction of arbitrator).

(6)  § 2024 (judicial appeal).

(7)  § 2025 (factors to be considered by the arbitrator).

(8)  § 2026 (notice of award).

(9)  § 2027 (fees and expenses of arbitration). 

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont