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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2016 12:57 PM
From: Representative Rick Saccone and Rep. Jim Christiana, Rep. Kristin Hill
To: All House members
Subject: Proposed Legislation: Ghost Teachers
Representatives Phillips-Hill, Christiana and I are preparing to introduce legislation that will prohibit most public school employees from taking union leave and, where an employee is permitted to take union leave, either under an exception or under an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA), will also require a union to reimburse a public school employer for any salary or benefits the employee receives during union leave.
Recent news articles have shed light on the problem of “ghost teachers” – individuals who receive monetary compensation and benefits, including retirement benefits, from their public school employer while on leave from school employment to perform union duties. Currently, the Public School Code does not restrict this practice, which misdirects valuable tax dollars that should be used to provide for teachers who are actually working in the classroom to educate our children.
Our legislation will prohibit most union leave, except as provided for in a current CBA, but will allow a limited number of Statewide union officials to take union leave for a period not to exceed a total of six years and will allow any employee to take union leave for no more than three consecutive days or 15 total days in each school year. Where union leave is allowed, our bill will require a union to reimburse a public school employer for monetary compensation or benefits accrued during a period of union leave, for the services of any substitute hired by the school to perform the employee’s duties during a period of union leave, and for any retirement or Social Security contribution the employer makes on the employee’s behalf. Our bill also prohibits the Commonwealth from making retirement or Social Security payments on an employee’s behalf during a period of union leave. Finally, our legislation will prohibit new CBAs from containing any provisions that conflict with these requirements.
By significantly limiting the number of public school staff who may take union leave, and by requiring union reimbursement for salary, substitute costs and benefits where union leave does occur, our legislation will save taxpayer resources that can then be appropriately allocated directly to the classroom.

Introduced as HB2125