Board Education: Reduction in Force Process

With the prospect of significant cuts to next year's general fund budget there is the possibility that we will be in the difficult position of reducing the school district work force. Over 80 cents of every dollar the district spends is spent on salaries and benefits. Budget reductions of the magnitude we anticipate are not possible without reducing personnel. The purpose of this agenda item is to review with, and educate the board on the process involved in reducing staff. This process varies from union-to-union, and is based on Board policy, state law and collective bargaining agreements. The governing policy is 5280 which reads, in part:

"5. Program and Staff Reductions

Program and staff reductions may be required as a direct result of enrollment decline, failure of a special levy election or other events resulting in a significant reduction in revenue; or terminiation or reduction of funding of categoriacally-funded projects. The board shall, after a review of such indicators as test results, community surveys, informal and formal statements of support and/or opinion, and the district's statement of philosophy, identify those educational programs and services which shall be reduced, modified or eliminated.

When the reduction, modification or elimination of programs and/or services necessitates a reduction in certificated staff, the board shall retain staff members based upon service in the state of Washington and qualifications and experience necessary for the retained position.

 (Entire Policy and Procedure attached)

RIF practice will be addressed on a Union by Union basis.

1) WEA Represented Teachers and ESA Staff (Nurses, Psychs, Counselors, etc)

The process for RIF is outlined in Article 10 of the WEA CBA. This language was last refined in the mid 1990's. The language a bit dated and does not include some of the current requirements for "Highly Qualified" staff that is defined in ESEA-NCLB (Federal Law) The language of the CBA is attached (WEA RIF Language) It begins at the bottom of the first page of the four-page document. You will note that the language in proceedure 5280p reflects this contract language. Also attached is related state Statute: RCW 28A.405.210.

Each WEA represented employee is awarded "Points" by teaching category based on experience and education.   Teaches may be eligible for employment in more than one category (e.g. Keith Clevenger has a Major in PE/Health and a minor in Mathematics.  He is certified to teach both subjects and therefore has points in two categories).  Staff reductions are made by category.  Those with the least points are the first cut from a category.  

By policy 5280 the board must, prior to implementaiton of a RIF "identify those educational programs and services which shall be reduced, modified or eliminated." This is what I have refered to as "Approval of a reduced educational program." which I am hopeful the board will act upon on April 27th, as we must, by law notify certificated employees by May 15 of probable cause for non-renewal. The statute allows for a delay in notificaiton until June 1 should the Omnibus Spending bill not be adopted by May 15th. In all practicality this is not an extension, as the Legislature could act on May 14th and not allow time for a board to approve a reduced educational plan.

2) Certificated Employees who are not represented by WEA

This group includes Superintendent, School Principals, Director of Special Services, and Asst. Superintendent.   There is no contract language that governs this group of employees.  Therefore, Policy 5280 and RCW 28A.405.210 govern a RIF for these employees, save the superintendent (reference RCW 28A.400.010).  The May 15 notification and the adoption of a reduced educational program applies to these individuals.  

3) Classified Employees Represented by SEIU

Statute is much less constraining on the Reduction of Classified Staff Section 12 of the SEIU CBA governs RIF for Classified Employees. Reductions are made by position and employees can "bump" less senior employees from their positions.   There is no deadline for RIF in this unit or in law.  At the end of the year we provide "reasonable assurance" letters to classified staff.  Failure to do so makes them eligible to collect unemployment benefits during the summer months. 

4) Classified Secretaries represented by WEA

 Section 14 of the secretaries contract required ntification of lay off or cutback of secretarial employees by August 1st.  Reductions are determined by hire date.  

 5)  Non-Represented classified staff and classified administrators

This includes DO Staff (Tegan Steen, Stephanie Patterson, Vicki Barnes), Classified Administrators (Kathie Griffin, Steve Rippl, Bill Hansen, Margaret Wilson, Stacy Brown), and some exempt staff (WCC, YCC, Turnkey)

These employees are "at-will" and may be reduced, with cause (such as finances) within the terms of their individual contracts with the district.   In most cases these expire at the end of June (admin) or August (others) and decision regarding RIF would need to be communicated prior to the issuance of a contract for the ensuing year.
Attached Files:
5280.doc 36 application/msword
5280P.doc 465 application/msword
RCW 28A.405.210_ Conditions and contracts of employment .pdf 64 application/pdf
Secretaries Assn RIF Language.pdf 553 application/pdf
SEIU RIF Language.pdf 2 application/pdf
WEA RIF Language.pdf 2 application/pdf