Changes in law mean changes in district contract proposal

School Board
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     Changes to Iowa law drove numerous changes to the Monticello Community School District’s initial contract proposal to the Monticello Education Association, announced at a special school board meeting Wednesday, April 5.

     The proposal calls for no increase to base wages for the 2017-18 contract. It also implements a Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) requirement that the district identify any permissive language – items that are permitted but not required to be negotiated – in its initial proposal in order to reserve the right to remove such language from the contract.

     The following contract articles were identified as permissive by the district, reserving the right to remove their language from the contract: recognition, grievance procedure, management rights, association rights, payroll deductions, employee hours, health provisions and more.

     In the compensation article, the following items were deemed permissive: basic salary of employees, advancement on salary schedule, placement of newly-hired personnel and method of payment.

     District language noted that identifying these items as permissive does not mean that the district will refuse to discuss and/or bargain over permission language. However, such identification means the district reserves the right to possibly remove this language from the contract.

     The other factor is language that is excluded from the scope of negotiations as a result of recent changes to the collective bargaining law, affecting Iowa Code Section 20.9.

     Dues deduction, benefits, staff reduction, evaluation procedures and transfer procedure are five of the articles in the contract that fall into the excluded category. Compensation items that could be “excluded” include schedule of additional pay for extra duties, educational lanes, extra compensation for covering classes, and state education excellence funds.

     In Article X, covering leaves of absence, 11 items were noted as permissive and one was listed as excluded.

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