In a word…duh!
After making minor changes, some of which were addressed by the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho School Boards Association got a thumbs up from both the Senate and House Education Committees to reprint six of the seven bills that were printed last week.
We have provided a chart which compares the various components of each of the pieces of legislation that have been introduced over the past two days with SB 1108, also known as Prop 1. In at least 14 instances, the language found in the 2013 proposed legislation is either directly lifted from Proposition 1 or is slightly modified, but has very similar implications to the law that was recently rejected by more than 371,000 voters.
At the end of the chart, we list five components initially included in Prop 1 that have yet not been introduced as legislation this session.
Note that the three bills which were printed in by the House Education Committee earlier this morning have not yet been assigned bill numbers. As soon as those bill numbers have been assigned, we’ll update this chart.
SB 1108 (Prop 1)
|Eliminated seniority as a factor in reduction in force decisions.
(Section 9, p. 15)
|Allows districts to include factors other than seniority in RIF; seniority may be used as a ‘tie breaker” assuming all other factors are equal
(The House Education Committee agreed to print a new version of this legislation earlier this morning. No bill number has yet been assigned)
|Eliminated the Early Retirement Incentive Program (Section 14, p. 19)||Eliminates the Early Retirement Incentive Program
(SB 1089) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1089.htm
|Limited the length of negotiated labor agreements to one year
(Section 22, p. 23-24)
|Limits the length of negotiated labor agreements to one year, except that “nonfinancial” issues can be added for no more than two years (SB 1094) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1094.htm
|Eliminated “evergreen” clauses from negotiated labor agreements
(Section 22, p. 23-24)
|Eliminates “evergreen” clauses from negotiated labor agreements (SB 1094)|
|Eliminated fact finding; allowed for mediation if both parties agreed, only if the process could be completed by June 10 negotiations deadline
(Section 20, pg. 22, and Section 22, p. 23)
|Eliminates fact finding (SB 1094), does allow for mediation only if the process can be completed by June 10 negotiations deadline (SB 1095) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1095.htm
|Required both association and district to prove ratification (Section 15, p 19-20)||Requires both association and district to prove ratification (SB 1095)
|Required that all labor negotiations be conducted in public meetings
(Section 15, p. 20 and Section 19, p. 22)
|Requires that all labor negotiations be conducted in public meetings
(SB 1098—This is the IEA’s bill, which addresses only public negotiations) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1098.htm
(The House Education Committee agreed to print a new version of this legislation earlier this morning, which also includes a June 10th deadline for the completion of bargaining. No bill number has yet been assigned)
|Required negotiations be completed by June 10 or board imposes “last best offer” (Section 20, p. 22-23)||Requires negotiations be completed by June 10 or board imposes “last best offer” (The House Education Committee agreed to print a new version of this legislation earlier this morning. No bill number has yet been assigned)
|Allowed the school board trustees to reduce teacher salaries and/or contract length from one year to the next
(Section 4, p. 9)
|Allows the school board trustees to reduce teacher salaries and/or contract length from one year to the next (SB 1096) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1096.htm|
|Limited courts from considering new evidence, should a board hearing be challenged in District Court.
(Section 1, p. 5)
|Limits courts from considering new evidence, should a board hearing be challenged in District Court. (SB 1038) http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1038.htm|
|Allowed districts to put an employee on unpaid leave, if a criminal court order prevented the employee from doing his or her job while awaiting trial or a decision by a court of law. (Section 1, p. 5)||Allows districts to put an employee on unpaid leave, if a criminal court order prevents the employee from doing his or her job while awaiting trial or a decision by a court of law. (SB 1096)|
|Gave employee 21 days to sign and return contact, unless otherwise specified by the district. (Section 1, p. 2)||Allows district to email contracts to renewable contract employees, if after 10 days there is no response, district must mail the contract to the employee Return Receipt Requested. (The House Education Committee agreed to print a new version of this legislation earlier this morning. No bill number has yet been assigned)
|Required unions to annually provide documentation that they represent over 50% of employees in order for collective bargaining to take place
(Section 15, 19-20 and Section 17, pg. 20)
|Requires union—annually, if requested—to provide written documentation that they represent over 50% of employees in order to collectively bargain. (SB 1095)|
|Limited collective bargaining to salaries and benefits.(Section 15, p. 20)||N/A|
|Phased out tenure for all current and future teachers who had not yet earned it, to be replaced by one- or two-year contracts. (Section 4, p. 8)||N/A|
|Included feedback from parents and objective measures of growth in student achievement as a factor in the performance evaluations of professional staff. (Section 1, p. 3 and Section 2, p. 7)||N/A|
|Gave principals more control over the new professional staff assigned to their building. (Section 10, p. 15)||N/A|
|Required liability insurance carrier lists to be provided to teachers each year. (Section 11, p. 15-16)||N/A|
IEA Bills: What Do They Do?
Yesterday we reported that the Senate Education Committee printed two bills, at the request of the IEA. Here is a brief synopsis of each bill and why the IEA supports it:
SB1098 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1098.htm), which comes directly from Proposition 1, requires all negotiations between school districts and local associations to be conducted in public. Over the past year, the concept and actual practice of bargaining in full view of the public was positively received by local association leaders and members. By allowing parents, teachers, other education employees, and district patrons an opportunity to see how the bargaining process works, the process was demystified and conversations at the table were more civil and productive.
SB 1090 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1090.htm) amends the current financial emergency law.
We introduced this legislation for a very specific reason: SB 1096 the bill, sponsored by the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of School Administrators, which would allow school districts to unilaterally reduce or increase contract days, or reduce or increase salaries for any reason or for no reason whatsoever. And, teachers wouldn’t need to be notified until they were issued their contracts on or before July 1st of each year. Additionally, the district would not be required to provide an individual due process hearing for any affected employee.
During our discussions with ISBA and IASA, both organizations claimed they needed a tool to effectively and efficiently manage their districts. We believe SB 1096 gives unlimited authority to school boards and effectively makes all employees at-will.
State and local policies do exist that assure superintendents and school board members can effectively manage their districts’ finances. In 2009, IEA and other education stakeholders wrote Idaho’s financial emergency law which has been utilized twice in the past four years. In both instances, the state used the law to declare a financial emergency, effectively freeing up districts to negotiate lower salaries and fewer contract days.
The current law also allows for a local school district to declare a financial emergency, should their financial situation be result from reduced funding. However, districts complain that the triggers outlined in the law make it impossible for any local school district in difficult financial circumstances to ever reach the threshold that would allow them to renegotiate salaries and benefits with their teachers.
The changes outlined in IEA’s legislation would not necessarily provide a solution for every school district that finds itself cash-strapped. However, in a circumstance where local funding is severely impacted, this bill could allow districts to reopen negotiations with employees to help assure financial security for the district and job security for employees.