Contents For Collective Bargaining Resolution For The School


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CONTENTS FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RESOLUTION FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD OF THE CITY
OF RICHMOND
Wherefores with policy statements Section 1: Definitions Section 2: Rights and Responsibilities Section 3: Exclusive Representative Section 4: Certification and Decertification of Exclusive Representative
A. Certification by Election B. Certification by Majority Authorization C. Decertification of an Exclusive Representative
Section 5: Rights of Employee Associations
A. Dues Deduction B. Employee Contact Information C. Access
Section 6: Collective Bargaining Duties, Impasse, and Related Procedures
A. Bargaining Unit Information B. Bargaining and Impasse
Section 7: Prohibited Conduct and Resolution Procedures
Section 8: Severability 1

School Board Resolution For Collective Bargaining In Richmond City Public Schools
WHEREAS, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome. When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society[;]” and
WHEREAS, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “By assuring the employees the right of collective bargaining it fosters the development of the employment contract on a sound and equitable basis. By providing an orderly procedure for determining who is entitled to represent the employees, it aims to remove one of the chief causes of wasteful economic strife. By preventing practices which tend to destroy the independence of labor, it seeks, for every worker within its scope, that freedom of choice and action which i justly [theirs;]” and
WHEREAS, workplace democracy must be recognized as an essential component to the functioning of our republic in that it allows workers to advocate for fair pay and working conditions so that they may live without the fear of poverty or economic oppression; and
WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the School Board of the City of Richmond (“School Board”) and Richmond Public Schools (“RPS”) to promote such workplace democracy and to protect the right to organize; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of our students that RPS employees are fairly compensated and economically stable in order to create an abundant educational environment; and
WHEREAS, employee working conditions are a student’s learning conditions, and when employees have job security, they are better able to advocate on behalf of their students; and
WHEREAS, Richmond, Virginia was the place where one of the first multiracial unions was formed in this country, organizing under the Knights of Labor, and in doing so united Black and white workers in common cause; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Code § 40.1-57.2 repeals the prohibition against collective bargaining for school board employees beginning May 1, 2021; and
WHEREAS, the legislation grants school boards the authority to recognize any organized employee association or labor union to exclusively represent school employees, to certify/decertify freely chosen Exclusive Representatives, and to collectively bargain and
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enter into collective bargaining agreements with such exclusive representative; and
WHEREAS, the School Board believes cooperative relations with its employees protects the public interest, advances the mission of the School Board, assures orderly school operations, improves the work environment for employees, and enhances the quality of education for students; and
WHEREAS, collective bargaining in good faith on any matter relating to wages, hours, benefits, safety, and other terms and conditions of employment is the appropriate means to establish and foster cooperative relations between the School Board, its administrators, and its employees; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of this Resolution is to establish rights, responsibilities, and procedures for a system of collective bargaining in good faith.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the School Board hereby recognizes the right of school employees to freely organize, form, join, assist, or participate in employee associations; to collectively bargain with respect to any matter relating to wages, hours, benefits, safety, and other terms and conditions of employment as may be defined by this Resolution and to engage in other concerted activities for mutual aid and protection; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the School Board hereby recognizes the right of school employees to freely select, should they choose to do so, Exclusive Representative(s) for the purposes of collectively bargaining, negotiating, and entering into written agreements with respect to any matter relating to them or their employment or services; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the framework for assuring the effective and orderly process of collective bargaining in good faith shall include the following:
SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS: The terms in this Resolution have the meanings defined below unless stated otherwise.
A. “Bargaining unit” means a group of employees with common employment duties, license requirements, and/or interests who desire an Exclusive representative for the purpose of collectively bargaining a contract and who demonstrate sufficient interest to trigger an election for an Exclusive representative. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to imply that more than one unit must seek certification at the same time. There shall ultimately be at least three bargaining units of Richmond City School employees as follows:
1. Licensed Personnel – means any non-administrative employee whose school employment requires a license from the Virginia Board of Education or Virginia Board of Health. This includes, but is not limited to, all teachers, school counselors, specialists, librarians, ITRTs, school psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, and department chairs.
2. School Support Professionals – means all employees except Administrative Personnel and Licensed Personnel.
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3. “Administrative Bargaining Unit” means principals, assistant principals, and supervisors who are required by their job description to have an endorsement issued by the Virginia Department of Education in administration and supervision preK-12 or who has actual authority to hire, suspend, layoff, recall, or discharge other employees.
B. “Business day” means a day that RPS central office is open. For items that note timelines, the counting shall begin the day after the receipt of information is delivered or is sent through email to the corresponding party. The deadline will be by close of business at 5:00 p.m. on the last day.
C. “Collective bargaining”, “bargain collectively” or “negotiate” means to perform the mutual obligation by representatives of the School Board and the Exclusive Representatives of employees to meet at reasonable times and negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours and scheduling, retirement, benefits, health and safety, work rules, evaluations, discipline, and other terms and conditions of employment, as well as quality of life issues, as further described in this Resolution, with the intention of reaching and executing a written agreement or to resolve questions arising under the agreement. This definition does not include negotiation of items that are prohibited by federal and/or state law. Examples of stated topics of negotiation include, but will not be limited to:
1. Wages: may include salary, stipends, bonuses, and the development, and application of salary schedules;
2. Hours and Scheduling: may include establishment of the workday/week, planning time flex/or compensatory time, and additional duties;
3. Retirement: may include payments for accrued leave, and participation in group benefits;
4. Benefits: may include participation in group health plan, dental plan, and disability and other insurance plans;
5. Health and Safety: may include safety equipment, work environment, and procedures in the event of communicable diseases;
6. Work Rules: may include procedures for reporting absences, and qualifying for leave, planning time, breaks, and lunch periods.
7. Evaluations: may include observations, walk-throughs, goal setting procedures, and communication of evaluation results;
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8. Discipline: may include policies and procedures for letters of concern, reprimands, administrative leave, suspension, and dismissal;
9. Other Terms and Conditions of Employment: may include lessons plans, flex time, leave, calendar development, lead teacher and other building level appointments, and coaching contracts; and
10. Quality of Life Issues: may include additional duties, access to employee assistance programs, and extracurricular activities.
D. “Employee” means an employee of the School Board, including but not limited to employees who are probationary, temporary, and short/long term substitutes including those designated as employees of the division by charter school agreements.
E. “Employee association” means any union or organization of public employees that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with public employers concerning collective bargaining, grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours, benefits, safety, or any other matter relating terms and conditions of employment.
F. “Employer” means the School Board of the City Richmond and/or Richmond Public Schools.
G. “Exclusive Representative” means an employee association certified by the School Board pursuant to this Resolution to represent an employee bargaining unit in the collective bargaining process.
H. “Impasse” means the failure of the Employer and Exclusive Representative to reach agreement in the course of negotiations or to resolve questions arising under the agreement.
I. “Mediation” means assistance by an impartial third party to reconcile an impasse between the Employer and Exclusive Representative regarding wages, hours, benefits, safety, and any other matter relating to terms and conditions of employment through nonbinding interpretation, suggestion, recommendation, and/or advice.
J. “Panel” means a group of three people consisting of one representative for the Employer, one representative for the employee association who is certified or seeking certification as an Exclusive Representative, and a neutral third party, who may be an arbitrator, selected by both parties. If a Panel is convened for an election where two (2) or more employee associations are seeking certification as an Exclusive Representative, then the Panel may contain up to seven (7) members, two (2) who represent the Employer, two (2) who represent the employee associations with the highest number of members, and one neutral party selected by the Employer and employee representatives. Any Panel Member representing their employee associations must be a current employee of Richmond Public Schools and the President of their employee association or an employee designated by the President of the employee association. School Board members, the RPS superintendent, and witnesses and/or individuals directly related to contract
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negotiations, or a grievance filed regarding prohibited conduct pursuant to this Resolution may not serve as a member of the Panel.
SECTION 2. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
A. Employee and Employee Associations
Employees and Employee associations shall have the right to:
1. Organize, form, join, or assist any Employee association.
2. Promote, support, or advocate for policies, procedures, actions, and decisions that may improve their individual or collective terms or conditions of employment.
3. Negotiate collectively through Exclusive Representative of their own choosing.
4. Engage in other concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
5. Refrain from any of the above.
B. Employer
No provision of this Resolution or these procedures shall be deemed in any way to limit or diminish the authority of the School Board to manage and direct the operations and activities of the school division to the full extent of the law. The Employer retains all rights, including but not limited to, the right to:
1. Determine the nature and scope of the work to be performed by RPS employees, including the number of employees hired to perform such work;
2. Establish a budget;
3. Hire, promote, transfer, assign, retain, classify and schedule all employees and undertake disciplinary action with respect to its employees;
4. Determine and implement layoffs or other reductions-in-force due to lack or work, budgetary considerations, changed working conditions/requirements or for other reasons in the School Board’s reasonable business judgment not prohibited by law; and
5. Undertake any actions reasonable and necessary to carry out the mission of the School Board.
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SECTION 3. EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE:
A. The Employee association certified by the School Board as the Exclusive Representative for a bargaining unit shall have the right to act for, represent, bargain, and negotiate agreements covering all employees in that unit and shall be responsible for representing the interests of all such Employees for the purpose of collective bargaining without discrimination and without regard to membership in the employee association. The School Board shall not bargain with any other representative or Employee association for a bargaining unit in which an Exclusive Representative has been certified.
B. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Section, an Employee may present a grievance at any time pursuant to School Board Policy without the intervention of an employee association. Employees who utilize this avenue of presenting personal complaints to the employer shall not do so under the name of any Employee association.
C. An Exclusive Representative shall have the right to intervene and be afforded an effective opportunity to be present, to offer its view, and fully participate at any meetings or hearings in any grievance, dispute, hearing, or legal action relating to the terms, applicability, validity, interpretation, or enforceability of any collective bargaining agreement. The Exclusive Representative shall not interfere at the building level. The Employer may, but is not required to notify the Exclusive Representative of grievances filed.
SECTION 4. CERTIFICATION AND DECERTIFICATION OF EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE:
A. Certification By Election. The School Board shall certify an Employee association as the Exclusive Representative for an Employee bargaining unit within ten (10) business days after receiving confirmation that an employee association was selected by a majority of the employees in a Bargaining unit who voted in a secret ballot election. The employer is precluded from having access to or ownership of any ballot, membership card, petition, authorization form, showing of interest form, or any other information that would reveal Employee identities as these documents will remain the property of the Employee association. The procedures for an election shall be as follows:
1. An Employee association seeking certification as the Exclusive Representative for a bargaining unit(s) shall file a request with the Clerk of the School Board and deliver a copy to the Superintendent. The request shall include (1) the Employee association’s name and address, (2) a description of the bargaining unit(s) it seeks to represent, (3) a statement certifying that thirty (30) percent of the Employees in the bargaining unit(s) wish to be represented by the Employee association as evidenced by any of the following: membership cards, dues payment, a petition, authorization forms, or other evidence of an Employee’s desire to be represented by an Employee association for the purposes of collective bargaining, and (4) the proposed date, time, place or method for a secret ballot election.
The School Board may, but is not required to, invoke the process in Section 4(B)(1)-(6) to verify whether or not thirty (30) percent of the Employees in a bargaining unit wish to be represented by the Employee association.
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3. Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the request for certification, the Superintendent shall notify all Employees in the bargaining unit(s) by electronic mail of the date, time, place or method for the election. A notice of the same shall also be posted in a common area at each worksite of the Employees in the Bargaining unit(s). Notice of the election shall also be included in the agenda for the School Board meeting immediately before the election.
4. All Notices provided pursuant to Section 4(A)(3) shall include a statement that other labor organizations or Employee associations have an opportunity to be included on the election ballot by filing a request with the Clerk of the School Board within seven (7) business from the date of the Notice. The request to intervene shall include (1) the employee association’s name and address, (2) a description of the bargaining unit(s) it seeks to represent, (3) a statement certifying that thirty (30) percent of the Employees in the Bargaining unit(s) wish to be represented by the Employee association in accordance with Section 4(A)(1)(3), and (4) that it wishes to be included on the secret ballot. The School Board or the Employee association that filed the original request for certification may invoke the process in Section 4(B)(1)-(6) to verify whether the thirty (30) percent of the Employees in a bargaining unit wish to be represented by the intervening Employee association. If an Employee association successfully intervenes, a new Notice will be provided to Employees and the public pursuant to Section 4(A)(3).
5. A Panel shall be convened for the election to oversee the process, report on results, investigate any objections, and hold hearings, if necessary. The election should be held within forty-five (45) business days after a request for certification has been filed, unless the Superintendent has sent written notification for no more than a two (2) week extension prior to the end of the forty-five (45) business day timeline.
6. The Panel may contract with a neutral third party or vendor agreed to by the parties (herein “Neutral”) to conduct the election with appropriate supervision and review by the Panel. The election will be held in person and shall be by secret ballot. Should an in-person election be impractical, the Panel may agree upon alternative election procedures. The School Board shall pay for the costs of the election.
7. The ballot for the election shall contain the name of the Employee association requesting certification, any other Employee association that meets the above requirements, and a choice of no representation.
8. The School Board and each Employee association on the ballot may have a reasonable number of election observers, up to two (2) from each party, to witness an in-person election and to witness the opening, processing, and/or counting of mail or electronic ballots. The number of election observers may be increased with mutual agreement from all parties. Observers may
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challenge the eligibility of any person seeking to cast a vote by immediately requesting to the election organizer the verification of the Employee ID and valid driver’s license. Challenged individuals may cast a ballot that is immediately impounded for future verification, if necessary. Once the election ends and the unchallenged ballots are tallied, the challenged ballots will be destroyed if they are not sufficient to potentially impact the election. If the challenged ballots could impact the election outcome, the Panel will open each challenged ballot and determine whether the person casting the ballot was eligible to vote.
9. Immediately after the polls are closed or the date for receiving mail in or electronic ballots has passed, the Panel or Neutral will count the ballots in the presence of the election observers and issue a tally of ballots revealing the number of ballots cast for each choice.
10. If none of the choices on the ballot receives the vote of a majority of the Employees voting, a run-off election among the two choices receiving the greatest number of votes will be held within thirty (30) business days. Notice of the run-off election shall be provided pursuant to Section 4(A)(3).
11. Any party to the election may file written objections within three (3) business days after the date of the tally of ballots. The objections should be specific in nature and detail the facts that call into question the validity of the election. The Panel of no more than seven (7) number of representatives shall investigate those allegations and if it finds that a dispute exists that calls into question the validity of the election, hold a hearing promptly. If not, the Panel will dismiss the objection(s) and certify the election results to the School Board. If the Panel finds that the election did not substantially conform to this Resolution, it shall order a new election. The Panel shall complete this process within thirty (30) business days from the date of the tally of ballots.
12. Upon completion of an election in which the majority choice of the Bargaining unit Employees voting is determined, the School Board shall certify the results naming the Exclusive Representative and the bargaining unit(s). The Superintendent shall give reasonable notice to all Employee associations listed on the ballot and the Employees in the Bargaining unit(s) identifying the Exclusive Representative which has been certified.
13. An Employee association that is not successful in an election must wait ninety (90) calendar days before submitting a new petition for certification to the School Board.
B. Certification By Majority Authorization: Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 40.157.2(C), the School Board may certify an Employee association as the Exclusive Representative, without an election, upon receipt of a request from an Employee association including: (1) its name and address, (2) a description of the bargaining unit(s) it seeks to represent, and (3) a statement that a majority of the Employees in the bargaining unit(s) support certification and wish to be represented by the Employee
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association as their Exclusive Representative as evidenced by any of the following: membership cards, dues payment, a petition, authorization forms, or other evidence of an Employee’s desire to be represented by an Employee association for the purposes of collective bargaining. The Employer is precluded from having access to or ownership of any ballot, membership card, petition, authorization form, showing of interest form, or any other information that would reveal Employee identities as these documents will remain the property of the Employee association. However, the Employer may validate the majority support for an Exclusive Representative using the following process:
1. A Panel may be convened within ten (10) business days to review and verify whether a majority of the Employees in a bargaining unit(s) support certification of an Employee association as their Exclusive Representative.
2. The Employer shall provide the Panel with a list of the names and positions of all employees in the bargaining unit(s).
3. The Employee association shall provide the Panel with a list of the Employees in the bargaining unit(s) who support certification and allow the Panel to inspect the membership cards, dues payment, petition, authorization forms, or other evidence of an Employee’s desire to be represented by an Employee association for the purposes of collective bargaining. The Panel shall accept any document whether it bears a signature in ink or an electronic signature. Such documents, including but not limited to membership cards, authorization forms or petitions, from Employees signifying their desire for representation by an Employee association are valid for a period of one (1) year.
4. The Panel shall compare the Employer’s list with the Employee association’s list and supporting documentation and provide a report to the Clerk of the School Board within six (6) business days stating whether or not a majority of the Employees in the bargaining unit(s) support certification.
5. If the Panel finds that the Employee association has failed to provide support from more than fifty (50) percent of contracted Employees in a bargaining unit, the Panel will notify the Employee association and the Employee association will have thirty (30) business days to provide the necessary proof of support. If they are unable to do so the Panel will dismiss the request for certification. Upon dismissal, an Employee association must wait ninety (90) calendar days before submitting a new petition for certification to the School Board.
6. Within fifteen (15) business days after receiving a Panel report stating a majority of the Employees in the bargaining unit(s) support certification, the School Board shall notify the Employee association that it has been certified as the Exclusive Representative. The Superintendent shall also give reasonable notice to all Employees in the bargaining unit(s) identifying the Exclusive Representative which has been certified.
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Contents For Collective Bargaining Resolution For The School