Tenure, collective bargaining, and teacher strikes
TenureTenure laws, sometimes referred to as continuingservice, are designed to protect teachers.Provided a measure of security for teachers byprotecting them from arbitrary and capricioustreatmentProvided a degree of permanency in the teachingforce-consistency in the classroom that ultimatelybenefits the students
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Frequently Asked QuestionsTenure for TeachersTeachers 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.
Frequently Asked QuestionsTenure for PrincipalsPrincipals 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.
Collective Bargaining &Teacher StrikesViewed as a mechanism to achievea greater role in management andoperation of public schoolsMost issues focus on rights ofemployees and terms and conditionsof employment
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
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
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
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
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
Collective BargainingCategories for bargaining:Mandatory (compensations andconditions),Permissive (commonly agreed uponlike contributions to pensions), andIllegal (things that are non-negotiable)
Impasse and BargainingWhen negotiations fail to lead to anagreement…MEDIATION-a neutral party assists intrying to reach a decisionFACT FINDER-third party attempts toanalyze facts and determine wherecompromise may occur-nonbindingARBITRATION-third party reviews, makessuggestions to encourage settlement –binding recommendations
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.