This forum offers both new and veteran school board members a knowledge base of the role they play in employee bargaining in Florida. Interacting with employee unions and their members places the school board in the position of balancing policy and politics. Also, increased demands on public education require labor contracts to be creative and responsive to internal and external (i.e., public) perceptions of a school district’s priorities. When properly conducted, the bargaining process can be an effective means for accomplishing the school board’s philosophical and programmatic goals. The following topics are covered:
- introduction to bargaining – historical perspective and legal requirements
- the bargaining process
- impasse and legislative hearings
- the political climate and impact of bargaining.
While the school board does not play a direct role in most personnel decisions, it does provide the policy parameters for recruitment, selection, retention, compensation, evaluation, and contract renewal or termination. Some of the topics covered in this segment of the forum include:
- the statutory duties and responsibilities of the school board and superintendent
- delineation between governance/strategic and management/operational roles
- staffing patterns and allocations
- hiring and reappointing personnel
- the appointment process and rejection for “just cause”
- due process.