More Anti-Collective Bargaining Bills Up Tomorrow in House Subcommittee
January 31, 2022
January 31, 2022
Today, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Passed-By-Indefinitely two anti-collective bargaining bills 12-3. One bill, SB374, sponsored by Mark Obenshain, would have repealed Virginia’s Permissive Collective Bargaining Law. The other bill, SB721, would have established unnecessary and undue burdens on localities and employees, by requiring employees to reconfirm the payment of their dues to their professional union or association each and every year. The VEA testified in opposition to both bills.
This morning in the House Finance Subcommittee 1, House Republicans revived a bill that had previously been removed from consideration and quickly passed it without discussion (HB103). The bill gives an additional tax deduction to educators and parents who choose to forgo public education and home school their children. While the VEA opposed this legislation on the grounds that we should focus our funding on public school employees, we were planning to support a bill (HB846) that would have just provided the tax deduction for educators. The Republican chair of the committee would not allow HB846 to be heard because he considered it too close in language to HB103. This tactic, of depriving the bill of a hearing for a vote was unfortunate but a legal procedural maneuver to evade the democratic process in the House Subcommittee. VEA will oppose HB103 as it moves to House Finance full committee for a hearing.
The bottom-line, Negotiating Contracts is Better for Everyone! If we are serious about every child’s future, let’s get serious about doing what works. Giving educators the right to negotiate their contracts works for our students. When the folks who know the names of our students have a seat at the table, great things can happen. Educator-negotiated contracts provide school districts with the freedom to tackle each school’s local challenges head-on. In 2020, progress was made to allow localities, including school boards to recognize any labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of any public officers or employees or to collectively bargain or enter into any collective bargaining contract with any such union or association or its agents. The following bills would roll back these protections.
HB336 – Freitas; VEA OPPOSES. This bill provides that, in a locality that has authorized collective bargaining by ordinance or resolution, a bargaining representative must be selected for each collective bargaining unit determined to be appropriate by the governing body of the locality. The bill provides that for a bargaining representative to be certified as an exclusive representative, at least 51 percent of the public employees in a collective bargaining unit must vote for certification of the bargaining representative through a secret ballot election conducted by the governing body of the locality. Preexisting bargaining representatives must also be certified by a vote of 51 percent of the affected collective bargaining unit. NLRB
HB337 – Freitas; VEA OPPOSES. This bill prohibits any employer of public employees authorized to engage in collective bargaining from entering into a collective bargaining agreement to compensate any public employee or third party for an employee organization’s or union’s activities. Further, if a union’s activities infringe on an employer’s time and resources, the union must compensate the employer at a fair market value rate. The bill provides for enforcement by the Attorney General and creates a cause of action for public employees to remedy potential violations. The provisions of the bill preempt inconsistent local laws and regulations.
HB341 – Freitas; VEA OPPOSES. This bill requires consent by public employees authorized to engage in collective bargaining before union or employee association dues are deducted from the employees’ pay directly by their employers. The bill allows public employees to stop paying union or employee association dues at any time and gives public employees an annual opportunity to reconfirm that they want to continue union or employee association membership and pay such dues. The bill provides that if an employee does not reconfirm then the dues deduction must cease. Companion Bill SB374.
HB790 – LaRock; VEA OPPOSES. This bill prohibits a county, city, or town from entering into a collective bargaining contract with a labor union or other employee association representing law-enforcement officers or employees of a law enforcement agency that (i) prevents the Attorney General from seeking equitable relief against a law-enforcement agency engaging in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional misconduct; (ii) includes any stipulation that delays officer interviews or interrogations after alleged wrongdoing for a set length of time; (iii) provides officers with access to evidence before interviews or interrogations about alleged wrongdoing; (iv) mandates the destruction or purging of disciplinary records from personnel files after a set length oftime, or limits the consideration of disciplinary records in futureemployment actions; (v) prohibits the interrogation, investigation,or punishment of officers on the basis of alleged wrongdoing if aset length of time has elapsed since its alleged occurrence, or sincethe initiation of the investigation; (vi) prohibits supervisors from interrogating, investigating, or disciplining officers on the basis of anonymous civilian complaints; or (vii) requires arbitration of disputes related to disciplinary penalties or termination.
HB883 – Byron; VEA OPPOSES. Repeals certain provisions of the Code that (i) require contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency or certain localities to pay the prevailing wage rate; (ii) authorize any public body, when engaged in procuring products or services or letting contracts for construction, manufacture, maintenance, or operation of public works, to require bidders to enter into or adhere to project labor agreements on the public works projects; and (iii) authorize a locality to recognize any labor union or other employee association as a bargaining agent of any public officers or employees or to collectively bargain or enter into any collective bargaining contract with any such union or association or its agents. Companion Bill SB721.
HB 652 Wampler; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires the Virginia Employment Commission to provide claimants with notice and an opportunity to present evidence prior to discontinuing benefits to which a claimant was previously entitled. The bill waives the requirement to repay penalties associated with overpayment for claimants who were awarded state pandemic unemployment assistance between March 12, 2020, and September 1, 2020. The bill directs the Commission to conduct an incarceration check and employment ID check prior to awarding benefits to any individual. The bill contains an emergency clause.
In addition to the House Commerce and Labor meeting, the House K-12 Subcommittee will meet twice tomorrow. The first meeting is at 7:30 a.m. and the second meeting at 5:00 p.m. Check out the schedule below and VEA bill positions.
HB89 – Walker. VEA OPPOSES. Disorderly conduct in public places; removes provision relating to elementary & secondary students. Summary: Disorderly conduct in public places.
HB535 – Clark; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires that public school teachers be compensated at a rate that is at or above the national average. Under current law, compensation at such a rate is aspirational. The bill requires state funding to be provided pursuant to the general appropriation act in a sum sufficient to fund a 4.5 percent annual increase for public school teacher salaries, effective from the 2023-24 school year through the 2027-28 schoolyear. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2023.
HB547 – Hudson; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires the Department to develop and maintain a statewide strategic plan for recruiting and retaining speech-language pathologists that, at a minimum, (i) analyze data to determine the specific staffing needs of local school divisions on an ongoing basis; (ii) evaluates the potential effectiveness of strategies for addressing recruitment and retention challenges, including tuition assistance, differentiated pay for speech-language pathologists, and the expansion of speech-language pathologist mentorships; and (iii) estimates the costs of implementing each such strategy, including the extent to which federal funds could be used to support implementation. The bill also directs the Department of Education and the Board of Education, in consultation with each local school board, to (a) examine the caseloads and compensation of speech-language pathologists in each local school division, (b) compare such caseloads and compensation to those of speech-language pathologists in contiguous states, and (c) make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than November 1, 2022.
HB587 – Roem; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires each public elementary or secondary school to process each web-based or paper-based application for participation in the School Breakfast Program or the National School Lunch Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture within five working days after the date of receipt of the application.
HB649 – Carr; VEA HAS NO POSITION. This bill requires the Department of Education,in coordination with the Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing,to (i) select, with input from an advisory committee that the bill establishes, language developmental milestones and include such milestones in a resource for use by parents of a child from birth to age fivewho is identified as deaf or hard of hearing to monitor and track their child’s expressive and receptive language acquisition and developmentalstages toward English literacy; (ii) disseminate such resource to such parents; (iii) select existing tools or assessments for educatorsfor use in assessing the language and literacy development of childrenfrom birth to age five who are deaf or hard of hearing; (iv) disseminate such tools or assessments to local educational agencies and provide materials and training on their use; and (v) annually produce a report that compares the language and literacy development of children from birth to age five who are deaf or hard of hearing with the language and literacy development of their peers who are not deaf or hard of hearing and make such report available to the public on its website.
HB650 – Kory; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires a school board to demonstrate in advance that the consolidation of schools, redistricting of school boundaries, or adoption of a pupil assignment plan will maintain or increase equitable student access to advanced academic programs.
HB688 – Kory; VEA HAS NO POSITION. This bill requires each school board to develop and post or otherwise make publicly available a fee schedule governing charges for the release of public records to be used by each school within its school division when responding to requests for public records pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The bill requires such fee schedule to be based on the most recent estimate of the aggregate costs incurred by each school within a school board’s division in accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching for requested public records. Finally, the bill provides that a school board shall review and update the fee schedule at least annually.
HB741 – Bell; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires each local school board, as part of each annual school safety audit, to create a detailed and accurate floor plan for each public school building in the local school division or certify that the existing floor plan for each such school is sufficiently detailed and accurate but provides that such floor plan may be withheld from public disclosure.
HB863 – Reid; VEA SUPPORTS. This bill requires local law-enforcement authorities to report in writing, and the principal or his designee and the division superintendent to receive each such report, on (i) any suspected offense, offense for which any charge has been filed, or offense that is subject to investigation, that was committed by a student enrolled at the school if the offense would be a felony if committed by an adult or would be a violation of the Drug Control Act and occurred on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity, or would be an adult misdemeanor involving certain enumerated incidents, and (ii) whether the student is released to the custody of his parent or, if 18 years of age or older, is released on bond. Current law does not require such reports to be in writing and only applies to student offenses but does not specify whether such reports are required to be made for student offenses that are suspected, charged, or subject to investigation.
HB1034 – Ransone; VEA OPPOSES. This bill requires the Department of Education to develop and each local school board to adhere to guidelines for the provision of counseling services in public schools, which shall include (i) provisions for parental consent; written parental notification; parental involvement, as appropriate; and confidentiality; (ii) procedures by which a parent may limit or prohibit his child’s participation; (iii) appropriate exceptions to the procedures by which a parent may limit or prohibit his child’s participation such as imminent need, health, or safety or maintaining order in the school; and (iv) any other provision deemed necessary by the Department.
HB1352 – Bell; VEA SUPPORTS. Prohibits any private elementary or secondary school from retaliating in any manner against any individual who in good faith reports child abuse or neglect as mandated by relevant law.
HB486 – Subramanyam; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Requires the Thomas JeffersonHigh School for Science and Technology academic year Governor’s School in Fairfax County to annually admit for first-time enrollment as freshmen at least 100 students who reside in the Loudoun County school division.
HB789 – LaRock; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Prohibits any public elementary or secondary school student from participating in any family life education program without the prior written consent of his parent. The bill requires the summary that is required to be posted and distributed to parents for each such program to include contact information for the individual or office responsible for maintaining printed and audio-visual program materials.
HB844 – Lopez; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the organization governing high school athletics and academic activities for public and approved nonboarding nonpublic high schools (the organization), with such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose pursuant to the general appropriation act, to develop (i) rules and standards for the prevention of inequities involving the use of hate speech or ethnically or racially insensitive expressions during athletic and academic competitions sponsored by the organization’s member schools, (ii) procedures for the enforcement of and penalties for the violation of such rules and standards, and (iii) training materials on such rules and standards. The bill requires each member school of the organization to abide by and implement such rules, standards, procedures, and penalties and ensure that each student who will participate in high school interscholastic athletic or academic competition, the parent of each such student, and each individual, whether paid or unpaid, who coaches a team that will participate in high school interscholastic athletic or academic competition receives and reviews such training materials. The bill requires the organization to make part of the process to become a registered official in good standing for any association offering services to the organization an education and training requirement that is consistent with the training materials developed by the organization. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2023.
HB988 – Wyatt; VEA OPPOSES. Eliminates the requirement that each school board adopt policies that are consistent with the model policies developed by the Department of Education concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools. The bill also removes the requirement for such model policies to include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to the use of school facilities, requires the Department to amend its model policies to remove any such information, guidance, procedures, or standards, and requires the Department to make such amended model policies available to each school board no later than the beginning of the 2022-2023 schoolyear.
HB1005 – Guzman; VEA SUPPORTS. Declares a public school teacher employed after completing the probationary period to be entitled to a continuing contract whereby the contract continues in effect for the ensuing year in conformity with local salary stipulations, including increments, provided, however, that such teacher may be dismissed for any cause set forth in relevant law and in accordance with the procedures set forth in relevant law. Current law declares any such teacher to be entitled to such a continuing contract during good behavior and competent service. The bill requires a public school teacher who seeks to resign from a continuing contract (i) for the ensuing school year to give written notice of such resignation on or before June 15 of the current school year or (ii) in effect for the current school year or for the ensuing school year after June 15 of the current school year to request release from the contract at least two weeks in advance of intended date of resignation and requires such request to be in writing and to set forth the cause of resignation. Current law requires written notice of noncontinuation of a continuing contract by either party to be given by June 15 of each year and permits a teacher to resign after June 15 of any school year with the approval of the local school board or, upon authorization by the school board, with the approval of the division superintendent if the teacher requests release from the contract in writing at least two weeks in advance of the intended date of resignation and sets forth the cause of resignation. The bill also provides that if the school board has not authorized the division superintendent to approve resignations of teachers with continuing contracts, the school board shall decide whether to accept or reject the resignation of such a teacher.
HB1023 – Guzman; VEA SUPPORTS. Permits any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division before high school to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the prevention, recognition, and awareness of human trafficking of children.
HB1026 – Guzman; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and appoint no more than 12 members to the Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council (the Council), including at least one of each of the following: teacher, librarian, representative of a parent-teacher organization who is the parent of a school-age child, school administrator, and individual with expertise in digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy. The bill requires the Council to (i) develop and recommend to the Board of Education for adoption a model policy for local school boards that would enable such school boards to better support the digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy of all students in the local school division; (ii) develop and recommend to the Board for adoption model instructional practices for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students in public elementary and secondary schools; (iii) design and post on the Department of Education’s website a page with links to successful instructional practices, curricula, and other teacher resources used in school divisions within and outside of the Commonwealth for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students and teachers; and (iv) submit a report of its findings to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than October 31, 2023. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2024.
HB1093 – Batten; VEA OPPOSES. Requires the evaluation of each public school teacher and principal and division superintendent to include an evaluation of cultural competency if the relevant local school board has adopted and implemented policies to require cultural competency training. Under current law, such an evaluation of cultural competency is required and not conditioned upon any such action of the local school board. The bill permits any school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board of Education to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board of Education, at least every two years, but only after providing 30 days’ advanced written notice of and holding a public hearing regarding the adoption and implementation of such policies. Current law requires such cultural competency training and makes no provision for such notice and public hearing.
HB1110 – Maldonado; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires each local school board’s grievance procedure for school board employees, except the division superintendent, principals, assistant principals, teachers, supervisors, and other employees required to be licensed by the Board of Education, to afford a timely and fair method of the resolution of disputes arising between the school board and such employees before dismissal or other disciplinary actions, excluding suspension. Current law requires such grievance procedures to afford a timely and fair method of the resolution of disputes arising between the school board and such employees regarding, but not before, dismissal or other disciplinary actions, excluding suspensions.
HB1129 – Taylor; VEA OPPOSES. Requires each local school board to require its schools to fully collaborate with the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality or his designee when conducting required school safety audits. Under current law, the division superintendent is required to make the results of such audits available to the chief law-enforcement officer upon request, and his approval is not needed. The bill also requires that the completed walk-through checklist using the standardized checklist provided by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety made available to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality or his designee. Current law requires that the completed walk-through checklist be made available to the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee upon request.
HB1184 – Guzman; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires state funding to be provided to support new division-wide ratios of English learner students in average daily membership to full-time equivalent teaching positions, as follows: (i) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level one, one position per 25students; (ii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level two, one position per 30 students; (iii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level three, one position per 40 students; and (iv) for all other English language learners, one position per 50 students.
HB1188 – Davis; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Requires the Governor to appoint to the Board of Education a high school student who will enter his senior year during the following school year as a nonvoting student advisor to serve for a term of one year. The bill provides that no such students eligible to be reappointed.