Policy 495 - District Policies and Procedures During a Strike

Revised: April 16, 2017

Independent School District No. 477 is committed to sound collective bargaining principles and practices which will serve to resolve differences through negotiations and to avert, to the extent possible, labor actions such as strikes, and the District realizes that a strike is the ultimate exercise of bargaining power which a union may employ in the event a satisfactory resolution of bargaining demands cannot be reached, and the District must take reasonable precautions to provide protection to the personnel and property of the District during a strike and must take certain other actions to provide for the continuation of services deemed necessary by the school board.

1. The superintendent and the other members of the administration and the various principals operating under the superintendent’s direction and subject to the oversight of the full school board are directed to make such preparations and to take such actions as may be necessary to meet whatever conditions may occur prior to, during and after any strike by school district employees. The superintendent will have the authority and responsibility to establish and equip a strike headquarters at the district office during the period of the strike. The superintendent is authorized to require that any district property held by district employees be immediately delivered to him or his designated representative.

2. The superintendent may take such actions and contract for such services as may be necessary to provide for a continuation of operations, and for the protection of students, of nonstriking employees, of school district property and of the persons and property of members of the school board. The administration shall have specific authority to contract for such communication, security, legal, consultant, emergency, custodial, clerical, food service, and repair services as may be necessary and to purchase, rent or lease such supplies and other materials as are required to provide for the efficient operation of strike headquarters and any facilities of the district during the strike. The administration shall have authority to establish such procedures as may be necessary to provide for alternative delivery or pickup of supplies and materials from contract vendors if necessary and to negotiate the suspension or termination of any vendor contracts during the period of the strike.

3. The administration shall have authority subject to specific school board approval to hire such additional, temporary or substitute employees and to temporarily reassign such regular or part-time employees as may be deemed necessary during the duration of the strike. The administration may expend such funds as necessary to procure required licenses for individuals employed by the district during the period of the strike. Substitute employees will be paid at the rates established by the school board. The administration shall take such actions as may be practicable to give training and supervision to employees working in new areas or in unfamiliar positions. The superintendent shall have authority to notify nonstriking employees of layoff subject to the needs of the school district.

4. The superintendent or designee are authorized to speak publicly on behalf of the district in regard to labor disputes and shall be the sole persons authorized to speak publicly on behalf of the district during any period of strike action. The members of the board agree to communicate through said spokespersons and to maintain a unified public position in support of the negotiating team during the strike. The administration shall keep the members of the board, the staff, students and their parents, and the public informed of the position of the school district during the period of the strike and shall take such actions and expend such funds as may be required to accomplish this purpose.

5. Unless otherwise provided by law or an applicable continuing collective bargaining agreement, the following principles will be consistently applied to all employees who engage or participate in a strike action:

a. Any school employee who is absent from any portion of the assigned work day without permission on the date or dates when a strike occurs will be presumed to have engaged in a strike on that date or those dates.

b. No wages, salary, benefits, or compensation of any sort will be paid to any employee engaged in a strike against the school district, effectively immediately upon his or her participation in the strike.

c. Any paycheck due a striking employee for work performed prior to the strike will be mailed, upon the processing of the payroll, to the employee’s home address according to applicable wage regulations. It is the responsibility of the employee to have the correct address on file in the district.

d. The school district will not continue contributions to any individual or family group insurance coverage or any other fringe benefits for any period during which an employee is on strike. The district will provide notice to striking employees to how they may continue to maintain group insurance coverage at their own expense.

e. No sick leave or disability leave shall be granted to a striking employee while on strike.

f. An employee in the striking unit who is on sick leave or disability leave prior to the effective date of the strike may continue to be carried on such leave during the strike only if appropriate acceptable medical evidence of the illness or injury is provided upon request.

g. An employee in the striking unit who reports for work and later claims to have become sick will be considered eligible for sick leave or disability leave only if acceptable medical evidence clearly substantiates the illness claimed.

h. An employee in the striking unit who does not report to work after the start of the strike and who later claims to have been sick or injured will not be granted sick or disability leave during the duration of the strike.

i. No other leaves of absence, with or without pay, will be granted to striking employees during a strike.

j. An employee in the striking unit who is on a leave of absence prior to the effective date of the strike may have his or her leave continued at the discretion of the school board.

k. An employee in the striking unit who reports to work during the strike may have a leave of absence granted at the discretion of the board.

l. There shall be no credit or service credit granted for any benefit or fringe benefit accrual purposes during the period of a strike to any employee participating in a strike action.

m. Any school district employee who takes part in a strike shall return all district equipment prior to his or her going on strike. The district will discipline employees who fail to return such materials.

n. Any employee organization or group of employees involved in a strike against the district will not be permitted to use school facilities.

6. Unless otherwise provided by law or an applicable continuing collective bargaining agreement, the following principles will be consistently applied to all nonstriking employees during a period when a strike is taking place:

a. All paid leaves of absence previously granted or underway at the time of the strike may be continued at the discretion of the school district. Future granting of paid leaves of absence during a strike will be decided on a case by case basis by the board in accordance with the needs of the district during the strike. Satisfactory evidence of entitlement for the leave may be required.

b. An employee who is on an unpaid leave of absence prior to the effective date of the strike may have his or her leave continued at the discretion of the board. Future requests for unpaid leave will be decided on a case by case basis by the board in accordance with the needs of the district during the strike. Satisfactory evidence of entitlement for the leave may be required.

c. Sick and disability leave may be granted during the strike; however, the nonstriking employee will be required to furnish acceptable medical evidence substantiating the illness or injury.

d. The superintendent, members of the administration and the various principals may assign nonstriking employees to perform other than their usual duties during the period of a strike. Any employee assigned to perform work appropriate to a higher class shall be paid for such work performed at the compensation rate for that higher class.

e. The administration may require nonstriking employees to work in excess of the normal work week as a result of any strike action. Overtime will be paid in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or to the individuals designated in and pursuant to school board policy.

f. Unless a nonstriking worker is on an authorized leave, is laid off or is ordered to the contrary, that worker shall be required to report to work on each duty day during the period of a strike.

g. All vacation leaves currently underway or previously granted may be cancelled at the discretion of the school board during the duration of a strike. The board will base its decisions on the staffing needs of the district and on the underlying facts and extenuating circumstances in each individual situation.

h. If a nonstriking employee is laid off during the period of a strike, the district will continue contributions to any individual or family group insurance coverage or any other fringe benefits except as otherwise required by law or contract. The district will provide notice to employees who are laid off on how this provision may apply to them and reserves the right to discontinue insurance contributions in the event of a prolonged layoff or strike.

7. An employee participating in a legal strike shall be allowed to take part in any extra-curricular or co-curricular duty assignments during the duration of the strike whether on a part-time, fully paid or volunteer basis. All community education programs and services shall continue.

8. A nonstriking employee, an agent of the school board employed to provide professional services, or a member of the school board who incurs property damage which is causally related to strike activities shall be reimbursed by the school district, provided that the damage, at the time of the alleged incident, is not otherwise covered by insurance and the employee, agent or board member has taken reasonable precautions under the circumstances to prevent such damage.

9. The administration shall take such actions as it may deem necessary to inform all employees of the district of the provisions of this policy.

10. The board shall not schedule any additional time or days of school to make up any time lost during the strike by the school district employees.

Cross References:

Adopted: January 12, 2010
Renumbered: January 26, 2010
Revised: April 16, 2017