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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.104

Introduced by Senator Kittell of Franklin District and Senator Collins of Franklin District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; collective bargaining; supervisory unions and districts

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require all public school employers and employees to conduct collective bargaining on a supervisory unionwide basis.

AN ACT RELATING TO SUPERVISORY UNIONWIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES

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

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 1981 is amended to read:

§ 1981.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter unless the context requires otherwise:

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(2)  "Professional negotiations" means the meeting, conferring, consulting, discussing, and negotiating in good faith between a school board negotiations council and a teachers' organization negotiations council or an administrators' organization negotiations council to reach agreement.

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(6)  A "teachers' organization" or an "administrators' organization" means an organization, committee, council, group, or separate unit thereof in which teachers or administrators participate and which exists, in whole or in part, for the purpose of professional negotiation.

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(8)  "School board negotiations council" means, for a supervisory district, its school board, and, for school districts within a supervisory union, the supervisory union school board or the body comprising representatives designated by each school board within the supervisory union to engage in professional negotiations with a teachers' or administrators' organization.

(9)  "Teachers' organization negotiations council" or "administrators' organization negotiations council" means the body comprising representatives designated by each teachers' organization or administrators' organization within a supervisory district or supervisory union to act as its representative for professional negotiations.

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 1991(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Teachers and administrators may select organizations to represent them on their negotiations council in collective negotiations with the school board negotiations council.  The school board shall recognize an organization as the exclusive representative of the teachers or of the administrators in the school district when that organization has proved its claim to sole and exclusive representative status of the respective group as hereinafter provided.  The superintendent, the assistant superintendent, and the principal shall not serve as negotiating agents for the teachers' organization.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 2001 is amended to read:

§ 2001.  GOOD FAITH

The negotiations councils of the school board and of the recognized teacher or administrator teachers’ or administrators’ organization shall meet together at reasonable times, upon request of either party, and shall negotiate in good faith on all matters properly before them under the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 2003 is amended to read:

§ 2003.  TIME TO BEGIN

The teacher or administrator organizations holding exclusive negotiating rights shall make a request for commencement of negotiations either to their school board or to the school board negotiations council no later than one hundred and twenty 120 days prior to the earliest school district's district annual meeting conducted within the supervisory union.

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 2004 is amended to read:

§ 2004.  AGENDA

The school board, either directly or through authorized representatives through its negotiations council, shall, upon request, negotiate with representatives of the recognized organizations teachers’ or administrators’ organization negotiations council on matters of salary, related economic conditions of employment, an agency service fee, procedures for processing complaints and grievances relating to employment, and any mutually agreed upon matters not in conflict with the statutes and laws of the state of Vermont.

Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 2005 is amended to read:

§ 2005.  WRITTEN AGREEMENT

The negotiations councils for the school board and the recognized teachers’ or administrators’ organization shall enter into a written agreement incorporating therein matters agreed to in negotiation.

Sec. 7.  16 V.S.A. § 2006 is amended to read:

§ 2006.  MEDIATOR

If, after negotiation has taken place on all matters properly before them, the negotiations councils for the school board and a negotiating teachers’ or administrators’ organization are unable to reach agreement on specific negotiable items, they may jointly agree upon the services and person of a mediator for the purpose of assisting them in reconciling their differences and resolving the controversy on terms which are mutually acceptable.  If agreement cannot be reached upon the person of a mediator, then either party may request mediation upon any and all unresolved issues to be conducted by the American Arbitration Association or its designee.  The parties shall meet with the mediator and make such information available as required.

Sec. 8.  16 V.S.A. § 2007(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The fact-finding committee, which shall be activated as soon as practicable upon request, shall be composed of one member selected by the school board negotiations council, one member selected by the negotiating negotiations council for the teachers’ or administrators’ organization, and one member who shall serve as chairman chair, to be chosen by the other two members.  In the event that agreement cannot be reached on a third member for the fact-finding committee, the American Arbitration Association shall be asked to appoint the third member.

Sec. 9.  16 V.S.A. § 2009 is amended to read:

§ 2009.  DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

School The negotiations councils for school boards and negotiating for teachers’ and administrators’ organizations are empowered to delegate in whole or in part the responsibility for negotiation of the collective agreement to any persons they may choose.  However, final ratification of any agreement on behalf of the a school board shall remain the sole responsibility of the school board, unless the school board has agreed to binding interest arbitration pursuant to subchapter 4 of this chapter.


Sec. 10.  16 V.S.A. § 2021(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Arbitration shall only occur if both parties the school board and the recognized organization, or some or all of the school boards and recognized organizations within a supervisory union agree in writing to submit to binding arbitration.  An agreement to accept binding interest arbitration may not be revoked.

Sec. 11.  21 V.S.A. § 1722(18) – (20) are added to read:

§ 1722.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

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(18)  "School board negotiations council" means, for a supervisory district, its school board, and, for school districts within a supervisory union, the supervisory union school board or the body comprising representatives designated by each school board within the supervisory union to engage in collective bargaining with their school employees' negotiations council.

(19)  "School employees' negotiations council" means the body comprising representatives designated by each exclusive bargaining agent within a supervisory district or supervisory union to engage in collective bargaining with its school board negotiations council.

(20)  "Supervisory district" and "supervisory union" shall have the same meaning as in section 11 of Title 16.

Sec. 12.  21 V.S.A. § 1725(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The municipal employer shall be represented in the bargaining by its legislative body or its designated representative or representatives.  If the municipal employer is a supervisory district or supervisory union, it shall be represented by the school board negotiations council, and the bargaining unit shall be represented by the school employees’ negotiations council.

Sec. 13.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a)  Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, collective bargaining agreements between school boards and their employees entered into before the effective date of this act shall remain in effect until their expiration and until the terms of the successor agreements are established.

(b)  Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, collective bargaining agreements for which negotiations began prior to July 1, 2008, but which are executed after that date, shall remain in effect until their expiration and until the terms of the successor agreements are established.

(c)  School employers and employees within multi-district supervisory unions who are engaged in collective bargaining as of July 1, 2008, are encouraged but are not required to do so in accordance with the provisions of this act.  If the employers and employees have not negotiated a prior agreement by means of supervisory unionwide negotiating, the commissioner shall provide an incentive payment of $5,000.00 from the education fund to be shared by the employer and employee bargaining units within the multi-district supervisory union that choose to proceed with negotiations pursuant to this act.

(d)  If the school employers and employees of two supervisory unions negotiate a written agreement covering the employers and employees of both supervisory unions pursuant to the general framework of this act, then the commissioner shall provide an incentive payment of $10,000.00 from the education fund to be shared by the employer and employee bargaining units within the two supervisory unions.    

(e)  School employers and employees beginning negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement after July 1, 2008 shall do so in accordance with the provisions of this act.

(f)  Nothing in this act shall prevent a school district and its employees from amending an existing agreement to expire on a date earlier than previously agreed to for purposes of entering into an agreement under this act. 

(g)  Nothing shall prevent an agreement negotiated under this act from containing staggered effective dates for the different districts within the supervisory union. 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us