Contents For Collective Bargaining Resolution For Richmond


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Richmond Education Association September 28, 2021
CONTENTS FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RESOLUTION FOR RICHMOND CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Wherefores with policy statements Section 1: Definitions Section 2: Rights of Employees 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

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[;]”
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 is justly [theirs;]”
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;
WHEREAS, it is in the interest of Richmond Public Schools to promote such workplace democracy and to protect the right to organize;
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of our students that Richmond Public School teachers and staff are fairly compensated and economically stable in order to create an abundant educational environment;
WHEREAS, a teacher’s working conditions are a student’s learning conditions, and when educators have job security, they are better able to advocate on behalf of their students;
WHEREAS, this board acknowledges the Commonwealth’s fraught history with organized labor and the storied attempts to thwart the collective organization of workers;
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;
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WHEREAS, President Barack Obama supported the policy that employees should have the right to “to make binding an alternative process under which a majority of employees can sign up to join a union;”
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 enter into collective bargaining agreements with such exclusive representative; and
WHEREAS, the Richmond City 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 Richmond City 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; and to engage in other concerted activities for mutual aid and protection; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Richmond City 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.
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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.
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. “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 with the intention of reaching and executing a written agreement or to resolve questions arising under the agreement.
C. “Employee” means an employee of the Richmond City School Board, including but not limited to employees who are probationary, temporary, short/long term substitutes as well as those Richmond City School Board employees assigned to charter schools.
D. “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.
E. “Employer” means the Richmond City School Board.
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F. “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. G. “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. H. “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. I. “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 or more employee associations are seeking certification as an Exclusive Representative, then the Panel may contain five members, two who represent the employer, two who represent the employee associations with the highest number of members, and one neutral party selected by the employer and employee representatives.
SECTION 2. RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES: Employees and employee associations shall have the right to:
A. Organize, form, join, or assist any employee association.
B. Promote, support, or advocate for policies, procedures, actions, and decisions that may improve their individual or collective terms or conditions of employment.
C. Negotiate collectively through Exclusive Representatives of their own choosing.
D. Engage in other concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
E. Refrain from any of the above.
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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, provided that the Exclusive Representative (if there is one) is afforded an effective opportunity to be present and to offer its view at any meetings or hearings held to resolve the grievance and that any resolution made shall not be inconsistent with the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement. 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 in any grievance, dispute, hearing, or legal action relating to the terms, applicability, validity, interpretation, or enforceability of any collective bargaining agreement.
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 10 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 any ballot, membership card, petition, authorization form, showing of interest form, or any other information that would reveal employee identities. 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
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statement certifying that 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.
2. The School Board may, but is not required to, invoke the process in Section 4(B)(1)-(7) to verify whether or not 30 percent of the employees in a bargaining unit wish to be represented by the employee association.
3. Within 5 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 intervene to be included on the election ballot by filing a request with the Clerk of the School Board within seven days 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 30 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit(s) wish to be represented by the employee association, 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)-(7) to verify whether the 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 45 days after a request for certification has been filed.
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6. The Panel may contract with the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service or another 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 shall be by secret ballot and the process agreed to by the parties which may include either or a combination of in person, mail, or electronic voting. 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 intervening 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 to witness an in-person election and to witness the opening, processing, and/or counting of mail or electronic ballots. Observers may challenge the eligibility of any person seeking to cast a vote. 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 30 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 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 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
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Resolution, it shall order a new election. The Panel shall complete this process within 30 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. All membership cards, petitions, authorization forms, employee lists, ballots, or other information which would reveal employee identities shall remain confidential and shall not be maintained or copied by the employer or subject to disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Va. Code § 2.2-3700.
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 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 any membership card, fair, authorization form, showing of interest form, or any other information that would reveal employee identities. However, the employer may validate the majority support for an Exclusive Representative using the following process:
1. A Panel may be convened within five 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).
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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 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 three 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 50% of employees in a bargaining unit, the Panel will notify the employee association and the employee association will have 30 days to provide the necessary proof of support. If they are unable to do so the Panel will dismiss the request for certification.
6. With 10 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.
7. All membership cards, petitions, authorization forms, employee lists, or other information which may reveal identities of employees shall remain confidential and shall not be maintained or copied by the employer or subject to disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Va. Code § 2.2-3700.
C. Decertification of an Exclusive Representative. Decertification of an Exclusive Representative for a bargaining unit(s) shall not be considered by the School Board for at least one year from the date of the Certification of an Exclusive Representative or during the duration of a collective bargaining agreement not to exceed three years, whichever is later.
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Contents For Collective Bargaining Resolution For Richmond