News/Pubs/Events

Education Law Alert: Important Updates Related to Timelines, Bargaining, Tentative Agreements and Payments to the Teachers’ Retirement Fund

2019 TIMELINES FOR BARGAINING AND THE REQUIREMENT FOR APPROVAL OF ANY TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
 
1.  September 15th: On or after the above date bargaining may commence between parties.
 
2.  However, prior to the commencement of formal bargaining between the parties, the parties must: “Hold a public hearing and provide an opportunity to allow public testimony to discuss items (sic) . . . to be bargained.”
 
[There appears that this requirement does not have to occur in a public meeting of the Board but there must be a public hearing.  There may be additional clarification by the IEERB as to whether a Board meeting may also be required in conjunction with the public hearing.]
 
3.  Bargaining Completed and Tentative Agreement
 
4.  At least 72 hours prior to the Board’s vote to adopt the Tentative Agreement, a hearing must be held. Notice of the time and location of the hearing, and the actual proposed Tentative Agreement must be posted on the School Corporation’s website at least 72 hours prior to the public hearing. 
 
5.  With respect to the public meeting of the Board where the Tentative Agreement is approved, the meeting must be appropriately notice under the Open Door Act and public comment on the Tentative Agreement must be allowed. 


2019 SPECIAL BUDGET PROVISIONS FOR THE REDUCTION OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT’S PAYMENT TO THE “1996 ACCOUNT” OF THE TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT FUND
 
Section 257 of the 2019 Budget Bill (HEA 1001, Section 257) provides as follows:
 
SECTION 257. [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE] (a) For the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019, one hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000) is appropriated from the state general fund to the 1996 account described in IC 5-10.4-2-2(a)(2) of the Indiana public retirement system established by IC 5-10.5-2.
(b) Upon the allotment of the appropriation made by this SECTION, the board of trustees of the Indiana public retirement system established by IC 5-10.5-2 shall reduce the employer contribution rate as of July 1, 2019, for the 1996 account described in IC 5-10.4-2-2(a)(2) to the sum of:
(1) the normal cost for the 1996 account described in IC 5-10.4-2-2(a)(2); plus
(2) the surcharge required by IC 5-10.2-12-3(a)(2)(B);
but not to a contribution rate that is less than the actuarially determined contribution rate plus the subdivision (2) amount.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), the board may review and establish the employer contribution rate as necessary.
(d) After July 1, 2019, and before October 1, 2019, the governing body of each school corporation shall determine at a public meeting the following:
(1) The dollar amount of the reduction in the school corporation’s employer contribution rate under subsection (b).
(2) The actions the governing body of the school corporation intends to take with the amount described in subdivision (1).
(e) This SECTION expires June 30, 2020.
 
A school district’s actual savings from its (the school district’s) payment to the “1996 Account” will vary depending upon the percentage of teachers who are in the “pre-1996 Account” and the percentage of those teachers who are in the “1996 Account”.  There will be no savings to the amount the school district will be required to pay for covered non‑certificated employees.  Those school districts who traditionally provide the same salary increase to teachers as they do their non-certified employees need to clearly think through the issue of how to utilize the savings arising only from its (the school district’s) contribution to certain retired teachers’ “1996 Account.”  Will this savings be spread out among all teachers and classified employees? 
 
School districts can anticipate that the Teacher Unions will take the position that the decision to be made under Section 257 of the Budget Bill are to be bargained and that any savings available to the school districts are additional revenue which will be included in the revenue calculation for the next round of negotiations. 


OVERALL INDIANA EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD (IEERB) TIMELINES
 
1. May 29th – IEERB issues its compliance report for one-year contracts
 
2. June 13th – Stakeholder Meeting (representatives of the parties) to discuss legislative changes and possible changes in the IEERB RUBRIC
 
3. June 25th – IEERB’s free annual conference
 
4. July 30th – Collective Bargaining report is due to be filed on or before this date in Gateway (NOTE:  This is a different date from last year.)
 
5. August 15th – IEERB Board Meeting to consider and approve the 2019 RUBRIC
 
6. September 15th – Commencement of formal bargaining (notice new requirements)