Missouri State Senate

Introduced

SB 1158 – This act creates the Professional Relationships Between Teachers and School Districts Act, which establishes procedures for collective bargaining between public school employers and public school employees.

RIGHTS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES, SECTIONS 160.1015, 160.1024 - Public school employees have the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of any organization, agency, association, committee, union, or employee representation council for the purpose of representation on all matters of employer-employee relations under the act. Public school employees also have the right to refrain from any such activities and may present grievances to an employer on their own without the intervention of an employee representation council or employee organization.

People in management, supervisory, or confidential positions as described in the act may represent themselves individually before the public school employer. An employee representation council cannot negotiate any benefits or compensation for people in these positions.

RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS AND EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION COUNCILS - Employee organizations have the right to represent their members in their professional and employment relations with public school employers. They may establish reasonable dismissal procedures and reasonable restrictions as to who may join the organization. They may use school district facilities at reasonable times for meetings. Membership dues may be deducted from payroll as described in the act. (Section 160.1018)

Employee representation councils have the right to represent employees in their appropriate unit in a school district in their professional and employment relations with public school employees. They are allowed to communicate with members of the employee unit and to use school district facilities at reasonable times for meetings. (Section 160.1021)

An employee representation council must fairly represent each employee in the appropriate unit. (Section 160.1036)

An employee representation council or an employee organization has standing to sue in any action or proceeding instituted as representative and on behalf of one or more of its members. (Section 160.1039)

AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD OF MEDIATION, SECTIONS 160.1006, 160.1012 - The act grants certain authority to the Board of Mediation (referred to as the Commission in the act) when dealing with public schools. The Commission has authority to participate in any case pending before it; conduct certain studies relating to employer-employee relations; develop and maintain research and training programs to assist public school employers and employee organizations; hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony or depositions of individuals as described in the act; investigate violations or alleged violations and take any action deemed necessary; bring an action in court to enforce its orders, decisions, rulings, or to enforce a subpoena; delegate its powers to any member of the commission or to any person appointed by the commission for the performance of its functions; and take any other action deemed necessary.

The Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether a violation to the act has occurred, and if so, what remedy is appropriate. The Commission will promulgate procedures for investigating, hearing, and deciding cases.

Any employee, employee organization, employee representation council, or employer has the right to file a charge of violation with the Commission. Any charges must be filed with the commission within six months of the occurrence; however, this six month period is tolled if the parties at issue are engaging in grievance procedures pursuant to a negotiated agreement.

Parties do not have to exhaust contractual grievance procedures if it would be futile to do so. If the Commission finds that a settlement agreement is repugnant to the purposes of the act, it will issue a complaint on the basis of a timely filed charge and hear the case on its merits. The Commission cannot enforce agreements between the parties and cannot issue a complaint on any charge based on alleged violations of any agreement that would not constitute a violation of the act.

The Commission has power to issue a decision and direct an offending party to cease and desist from violating the act and to take action to effectuate the policies of the act. Judicial review in the circuit court of the county where the school district is located is available to any charging party, respondent, or intervener who is aggrieved by the final decision or order of the commission except for the commission's decision not to issue a complaint in a case. An aggrieved party seeking judicial review must file a petition within thirty days after issuance of the commission's final order. The court and commission must follow procedures described in the act. Any record of proceedings before the commission and any factual findings by the commission will be conclusive. If the time to petition for extraordinary relief from a commission decision has expired, the commission will seek enforcement of a final decision or order in a circuit court in the school district where the violation occurred.

Any person or party who interferes with a member of the Commission or its agents will be guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced to a fine of not more than $1,000. (Section 160.1009)

VIOLATIONS OF THE ACT, SECTION 160.1027 - Actions by a public school employer, employee organization, or employee representation council that constitute violations of the act include: causing or attempting to cause another party to violate the act; committing or threatening employees with reprisal, discrimination, interference, restraint, or coercion; and refusal or failure to meet and negotiate in good faith with other parties as described in the act. In addition, it is a violation for a public school employer to dominate or interfere with the formation of employee representation councils.

POLICIES FOR NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN PARTIES, SECTIONS 160.1030, 160.1033 - The local board of education must publish and adopt a policy establishing a time line for party negotiations prior to the adoption of the final budget for the ensuing year in order to allow sufficient time for an agreement to be reached. The scope of negotiations will consist of matters relating to wages, hours of employment, and terms and conditions of employment as described in the act. All matters not specifically enumerated in the act are reserved to the public school employer and will not be a subject of meeting and negotiating. Upon request, a public school employer will meet and negotiate with an employee representation council on matters within the scope of representation as described in the act; it will appoint at least one member of the school board to participate in all such meetings.

A public school employer and a majority of the employee representation council must enter into a written agreement identifying matters within the scope of meeting and negotiation. The school board may accept, reject, or modify the agreement that has been reached. The agreement becomes binding when a majority of the school board members approve it and when the minutes of the meeting where the action took place are approved.

PROHIBITION OF STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS, PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS, SECTION 160.1042 - Public school employees, employee organizations, and employee representation councils must not engage in a strike, or cause, instigate, encourage, or condone one. If a public school employer alleges there is a strike, it must notify the Commission of the full or partial days public school employees were engaging in a strike. Within thirty days of receiving notice, the Commission must conduct a hearing to determine if there was a violation and must issue a decision and an order. If the Commission finds that one or more public school employees engaged in a strike, it will fine each employee $250 for each full or partial day of the strike. Other penalties may include dismissal, forfeiture of tenure, and demotion to probationary status. If the Commission finds that an employee organization has supported, assisted, or facilitated a strike, the employee organization will be fined $5,000 for each full or partial day that an employee or employees engaged in the strike. In addition, the employee organization will no longer be eligible to be represented on an employee representation council in the school district where the strike took place for two years after the violation. A public school employer must also stop making payroll deductions for dues of any employee organization for one year after the violation. If the Commission imposes a fine against a public school employee who continues to be employed by a public school employer, the Commission must order the employer to deduct the fine from the employee's salary.

A public school employer must not institute a lockout. However, a public school employer does not commit a violation of the act if there is a total or partial cessation of the employer's operations in response to a strike. If an employee representation council, employee organization, or a public school employee alleges a lockout, they must notify the Commission. If, after a hearing, the Commission finds that a public school employer instituted a lockout, the Commission must fine the employer $5,000 for each full or partial day of a lockout and fine each member of the employer's governing board and superintendent $250 for each full or partial day of a lockout.

Public school employers may bring an action to enjoin a strike by public school employees. An employee representation council or employee organization may bring an action to enjoin a lockout by a public school employer. These actions are to be brought in the circuit court for the county in which the affected public school is located. A court may only grant injunctive relief. The court must award court costs and reasonable fees to a prevailing plaintiff. Other penalties, forfeitures of rights or privileges, or other sanctions as the result of a strike are negotiable between the parties.

The Commission must initiate collection proceedings if fines are not collected or deducted within thirty days. Any money received from fines must be transmitted to the State School Moneys Fund.

PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION COUNCIL, SECTIONS 160.1045, 160.1048 - The act contains procedures for the establishment of an employee representation council, which include filing a request letter with the local school board with a showing of interest of at least ten percent of certain employees and a posting of such request letter as described in the act.

Any employee organization that can establish a showing of interest of at least ten percent of employees in the appropriate unit will be entitled to have at least one representative on the employee representation council. Any additional representatives will be proportional based on a percentage of membership for each organization that established a showing of interest.

The employee representation council must establish, and revise as necessary, operating procedures as described in the act.

ACCEPTANCE OF AGREEMENT, SECTION 160.1051 - All matters within the scope of meeting and negotiating that are agreed to by a simple majority of employee representation councils and the employers must be put in writing, including any items upon which agreement could not be reached. Binding arbitration is not allowed. This document must be made public and presented to the school board, which may accept, reject or modify it. The agreement becomes binding once acted upon by the school board.

MICHAEL RUFF

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