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Tenure, collective bargaining, and teacher strikes

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  • 1. TenureTenure laws, sometimes referred to as continuingservice, are designed to protect teachers.Provided a measure of security for teachers byprotecting them from arbitrary and capricioustreatmentProvided a degree of permanency in the teachingforce-consistency in the classroom that ultimatelybenefits the students
  • 2. Tenure Once established, the teacher couldonly be dismissed for cause Right to due process Protection from special interestgroups and political factions –allowed teachers to perform theirduties without undue interference
  • 3. Acquisition of Tenure Tenure not offered in all states Probationary period varies Attainment usually after several years(typically 3 to 7 years) Sometimes connected to studentachievement
  • 4. Probationary Period Length of probationary perioddetermined by individual districts Can be non-renewed without cause Due process not required unless theteacher can prove the non-renewalwas purely personal, political, ormotivated by arbitrary or capriciousacts Burden of proof falls on the teacher
  • 5. Non-Tenured StatusIf a teacher is non-renewed… S/he should not expect employmentbeyond that year S/he does not have a right toreason for non-renewal S/he does not have the right to dueprocess S/he does not have the right to ahearing
  • 6. Tenure for Principals Rare…currently only 11 states offertenure On one hand it offers protection toprincipals…on other hand, ifprincipals are doing their job theyshouldn’t need protection
  • 7. Tenure for Principals cont. Districts offering fixed termcontracts for principals in place oftenure Offers some protection Vary in length from 1-5 years,usually 3 Trending – base on performance toincrease accountability based onquality and effectiveness
  • 8. Non-Renewal of Principals With timely notice – School boardsdo not need to give reasons Principal may challenge the non-renewal if it believed to be forarbitrary or capricious reasons Burden of proof lies with theprincipal
  • 9. Frequently Asked QuestionsTenure for TeachersTeachers are entitled to fundamental fairness, irrespective of tenurestatus.Tenure is not designed to protect teachers who are inept orineffective.Tenure should protect competent and effective teachers.Teachers may be dismissed only for specified reasons that arebased on objective and documentable evidence.Due process procedural safeguards, as established by statestatutes, should be followed to ensure that dismissal decisions arelegally defensible.Non-renewal of a non-tenured teacher’s contract does not generallyrequire due process of reasons, unless an alleged constitutionalviolation is involved.
  • 10. Frequently Asked QuestionsTenure for PrincipalsPrincipals on fixed term contracts are entitled to due processhearings if their contract is cancelled prior to the contract expirationdate.If a principal is non-renewed with timely notice at the end of thecontract period, reasons need not be provided for the non-renewal.Principals may challenge non-renewal if they believe such actionwas based on arbitrary or capricious action by the school board.The burden of proof rests with the principals who challenge non-renewals to demonstrate arbitrary and capricious actions by schoolboards.
  • 11. Collective Bargaining &Teacher StrikesViewed as a mechanism to achievea greater role in management andoperation of public schoolsMost issues focus on rights ofemployees and terms and conditionsof employment
  • 12. Collective Bargaining - History Wisconsin was one of the firststates to enact legislation to allowbargaining to occur – 1940’s Teachers became active in collectivebargaining in 1960’s Most states currently allow someform of bargaining
  • 13. Collective Bargaining Intent – Teacher empowerment andshared power between teachers andschool boards Teachers have the right to affiliatewith a union without fear of reprisal “Good faith” requirement –bargaining must be sincere in intentto reach a reasonable agreement
  • 14. Private Sector vs. Public Sector Public sector employees areprotected by certain rights understate statutes Private sector struggled withevidence of corruption Federal laws were enacted to helpprotect private sector employees Public school teachers not permittedto strike
  • 15. Teacher Strikes Prohibited in many states State statutes vary regardinglimited strikes Where allowed, most includestatutory conditions to carry outstrike Courts tend to uphold no-strike lawswhen challenged
  • 16. State Involvement Most states require teachers to beaffiliated with a bargaining unit A bargaining unit is required torepresent its membership on a fairand equitable basis
  • 17. Collective BargainingCategories for bargaining:Mandatory (compensations andconditions),Permissive (commonly agreed uponlike contributions to pensions), andIllegal (things that are non-negotiable)
  • 18. Impasse and BargainingWhen negotiations fail to lead to anagreement…MEDIATION-a neutral party assists intrying to reach a decisionFACT FINDER-third party attempts toanalyze facts and determine wherecompromise may occur-nonbindingARBITRATION-third party reviews, makessuggestions to encourage settlement –binding recommendations
  • 19. Frequently Asked Questions Collective Bargaining & Teacher Strikes The collective negotiations process should always be guided by a goodfaith effort involving both parties: school boards and union officials. School boards should not negotiate items for which they have no legalauthority to negotiate (e.g. setting salaries, employing personnel) unlessthere is express statutory authority to do so. Any sustained action taken by striking teachers that may disrupteducational opportunities for students will no likely receive court support. Constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of teachers should not beimpaired by collective bargaining agreements.

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