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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 22, 2016 03:53 PM
From: Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public School Sick and Sabbatical Leave mandates
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce Senate Bill 584 from last session that would provide needed flexibility to school districts to adequately manage their professional staff.

Currently, the Public School Code contains several provisions describing minimum benefits to professional school employees that rightly should be the subject of bargaining between the school boards and employee organizations. Because these mandates are prescribed, they sometimes tie the hands of school districts, particularly in the management of personnel.

First, this legislation would remove mandated sick and bereavement leave benefits and instead make both subject to collective bargaining negotiations. The proposal would give school districts the option of requiring employees to use vacation or sick days for these events or allow a special leave in those circumstances. Allowing school districts to collectively bargain leave time, as opposed to mandating it through statute, provides districts with some say as to how to best manage their personnel.

Second, the proposed legislation would eliminate a professional employee’s entitlement to a sabbatical leave. Sabbatical leave benefits for professional school employees well exceed the normal benefits provided to other employees in the public and private sector. In order for school districts to better manage expenses and provide the best education possible, it is essential that they are able to make decisions about the management of their personnel while ensuring minimal disruption to the classroom.

Last session’s co-sponsors were: White, Scarnati, Alloway, Baker, Folmer, Vulakovich and Aument.

Introduced as SB229