Legislative Accomplishments

West Virginia School Service Personnel Association

LEGISLATIVE IMPROVEMENTS AFFECTING

SCHOOL SERVICE PERSONNEL

1965 - 2016

 

1965

  • Provided funds for salary increases.
  • Increased retirement benefits 76 cents per month per year of service for all school employees.  Example:  A retired school employee who had worked 20 years received $15.20 per month increase.

1966

  • Provided funds for salary increases.
  • Provided sick leave for service personnel -- 5 days per year accumulative to 20 days.

 

1967

  • Provided funds for salary increases.
  • Provided authority and protection to teacher aides and other school employees or persons assigned responsibility for directing and supervising board approved activities.
  • Workmen's compensation was mandated for all school employees.
  • Employment term extended to ten months; thus, providing longer employment term for school service personnel.
  • Provided right of hearing when school service employee's job is terminated.
  • Defined "regular full-time employee" as a person employed by a county board of education who has a regular position or job throughout his employment term, without regard to hours or method of pay.

 

1968

  • Provided funds for salary increases.
  • Provided increased sick leave benefits from 15 days to 18 days per year, accumulative to 60 days.  Pay at the time of illness and unused days are transferable if employee transfers to another county board of education.
  • Provided an increase of 25 cents per month per year of service for retired employees.  Example:  A service employee who had worked 20 years received $5.00 per month increase.

 

1969

  • Provided over $6,000,000 for supporting services (new money received by the board to run the schools).  One-half of this amount was to be used to increase the salaries of service personnel.
  • "Service Personnel" was defined as those who serve as secretarial, custodial, maintenance, transportation and school lunch employees.
  • "Auxiliary Personnel" was defined as persons who serve as teacher aides.
  • Provided that after three years of employment, teacher aides and service personnel shall be notified in writing on or before May 1 by certified mail if one is not to be re-employed for the next year.  The employee shall also have the right to a hearing if he requests such.  (Replaced with tenure law.)
  • Authorized that the board may suspend or dismiss any employee for certain reasons.  The employee so affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard by the board within 10 days.  The charges and notice shall be served upon the employee within five days.  If a board's decision on dismissal or suspension is not unanimous by the board members the person shall have the right to appeal to the state superintendent of schools.                    
  • Provided that all personnel fall under provisions of assignment, transfer, promotion, etc.  Namely, the superintendent must furnish the board on or before the first Monday in May a list of both professional and non-teaching personnel being considered for transfer and those listed shall be notified by certified mail.  All other personnel not so listed must return to the same positions or jobs.  The superintendent can suspend employees, but not for more than 30 days unless extended by the board.
  • Sick leave was changed to "personal leave", thus opening the way for boards to approve personal leave for causes other than illness or death; it also assured full payment of salary during illness rather than in two separate checks, making possible full Social Security benefits.  (Social Security was not deducted from sick leave checks as provided in the Code before July 1, 1969.)
  • Provided that a change in job assignment during the school year shall not affect the employee's personal leave rights or benefits.  Example:  If a custodian is employed 10 months at a school and then works as a painter for the board for two months, he still is covered by sick leave for the additional two months of employment.
  • Provided that unless excused by the judge, any board employee can be required to serve on juries in this state during his contract period with the board of education.  If the employee serves on a jury, however, the board shall pay the difference between that allowed for such jury service and the amount of pay due the person for such a period of time.
  • Provided that auxiliary and service employees must be given a written contract by the board of education.  Such contracts which may be in letter form, shall state the terms of work, the employment period and pay.
  • Provided that the board is empowered to determine the number of pays, making it possible to pay employees weekly, twice a month or any time.
  • Provided school personnel, who were drawing retirement benefits, an increase of 50 cents per month per year of service.  Examples:  A person who worked as a school board employee for 20 years received a $10 per month increase -- an employee who worked 24 years before retirement received a $12 monthly increase.
  • Boards were authorized to pay all or part of expenses of any personnel designated to represent it at professional or educational meeting or visitation or another school system.
  • Provided for school service personnel to be paid for the same holidays as teachers, namely:  Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, and any day on which a primary election, general election, or special election is held throughout the state or school district and any day appointed and set apart by the president or governor as a holiday of special observance by the people of the state.
  • Boards may provide vacation time for their employees.  (Already law before 1969 ACT was passed.)

 

1970

  • Provided improved retirement benefits.  (Rated the 3rd best in the nation in benefits.)
  • Provided a 25% increase in retirement benefits for those who retired prior to July 1, 1970.

 

1971

  • Provided $1,756,341 to raise school service personnel salaries.

 

1972

  • Provided for the state to pay 70% of the premium costs of a health, accident and group insurance program for school employees.

 

1973

  • Over $4,000,000 provided for funding a minimum salary increase of $335 per month and at least a 5% pay increase for service personnel.                       
  • A minimum of 200 days and ten months employment term provided.
  • Mandated continuing contracts for auxiliary and service personnel after three (3) years of employment.
  • Provided for no pay loss when days are lost for reasons over which the board has no control.
  • Provided for a legislative-financed interim study to be made relating to the general working conditions, pay, etc., of all school personnel.
  • Provided for the tuberculin test to be taken once every two years instead of every year.
  • Mandated the following improved Workmen's Compensation benefits:
  • Increased minimum benefits from $35 to $40 per week.
  • Increased benefit ceiling from 55% to 60% of employee’s average weekly earnings.
  • Provided for checks to be mailed directly to employee instead of employer first.
  • Provided for checks to be mailed to employee no more than two weeks apart.
  • Provided approximately $2,400,000 for employing early childhood aides
  • Provided varied percentage increases in retirement benefits for those retiring prior to July 1, 1970.

 

1974

  • Provided 7.5% pay increase based on existing salaries.
  • Provided State paid $10,000 group life insurance coverage regardless of salary earned.
  • Provided health, accident and major medical insurance paid 100% by the State.
  • Established a minimum salary schedule for auxiliary and service personnel with $100 yearly pay increases up to 10 years of employment.  (Effective July 1, 1975.)
  • Provided varied percentage increases in retirement benefits for those retiring prior to July 1, 1970.  (Effective July 1, 1975.)

                 Note:  Those retiring prior to July 1, 1970, were provided percentage increases effective July 1, 1974.

                            The 1974 raise was passed in the 1972 session of the legislature.

 

  • Provided the following Workmen's Compensation Improvements:

         

 

Old Law                     

New Law

 

Minimum benefits per week

$40

$45

(1974)

Maximum benefits per week

60%

80%

(1975)

(Amount based on average weekly salaries in WV)

 

100%

(1975)

 

 

  • Under the new law, widows and dependents of a deceased person who died of a work-related accident will receive whatever the compensation would have been if he were still living.  Under the old law, the widow's benefits were a maximum of $160 per month.
  • Also, there are unlimited medical benefits for life for those injured in a work related accident.

 

1975

  • Reenacted and protected a state minimum salary schedule for auxiliary and service personnel establishing minimum pay grades and $100 yearly pay increases up to 10 years of employment.
  • Provided $8,278,791 to put minimum salary scale in effect.  An additional $1,124,379 was provided for salaries, totaling $9,402,170
  • Provided for unlimited number of personal leave (sick leave) days to be accumulated.
  • Provided for boards of education to pay costs of medical and physical examinations when required as a condition of employment.
  • Provided for all years that employees have been employed to count for retirement benefits (prior service credit).
  • A total of $54,700,000 added to retirement fund to make the retirement system more solvent.

 

1976

  • Elimination of the $20 supplement fee penalty when employees withdraw from the retirement system.  (Note:  Employees are advised not to withdraw from the system unless compelled to do so.)
  • Provided for auxiliary and service personnel to attend educational conferences, service personnel meetings, etc., on school days at the direction of the superintendent without pay loss.
  • Elimination of requiring employees to pay the full premiums costs of state insurance when on medical leave up to one year.
  • New funds for auxiliary and service personnel salaries.  (See Accounts that follow.)

 

 

1975-76

New Budget

Increase

Account 287 Aids to Counties

(ALL of which helps pay cooks’ salaries)

 

 

$925,000

 

$1,327,104

$402,104

Account 295 Step 2 State Aid Formulas

(To help pay auxiliary service personnel salaries)

 

$32,535,853

$33,625,234

$1,089,382

Account 297 Early Childhood Aide Salaries

 

$2,685,540

$2,882,880

$197,340

Account 299 to Implement S.B.121

 

$8,278,791

 

 

$11,500,000

 

$3,221,209

  

  • Provided for a $100 per month pay increase for auxiliary and service personnel who work a full day and $50 per month for those who work a half day.  Appropriated approximately $14,000,000 to implement the pay increases.

 

1977

  • Provided for the requirement of the county superintendent to notify employees by April 1 if they are to be transferred and to state reasons for transfer.  Also, such employees are to be provided a hearing, if requested.
  • Provided for the requirement of the board members to reemploy probationary employees on or before the first Monday in May.  If such employees are not rehired by that deadline, they are entitled to a hearing at which the reason(s) must be shown.
  • Provided for a $25 per month across-the-board pay raise and extended the increment years to 13.  A total of $4,441,271 was provided for the pay raise.  An additional $1,107,225 was provided to use for auxiliary and service personnel salaries.
  • Provided for the spouse of a board member, administrator, etc., to be employed as auxiliary or service employee of a school system.

 

1978

  • Provided for a $35 per month across-the-board pay increase, redefined "Aide II" and established "Aide III" classification, provided for "Cook I" to be elevated to "Cook II" after four years as "Cook I", upgraded pay grade of Food Service Supervisor from E to G.  A total of $5,803,415 was appropriated for pay raise and salary improvements.
  • Provided for up to 26 weeks unemployment compensation for certain public employees (including school employees) whose jobs are terminated.  When school employees are affected, the school board has to pay the unemployment benefits.
  • Provided for improvements in the Workmen's Compensation law as defined:

 

 

  • Increased the membership of the Teachers Retirement Board by adding a member elected by the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees.
  • Provided for referendum designated as the "School Levy and Bond Amendment" to be placed on the November general election ballot for public vote.  (If the referendum is approved, bond and special levies can be passed with a simple majority vote instead of 60% of votes cast.)
  • Made school employees eligible for unemployment compensation benefits when their employment is terminated by the board and when the employee is not at fault.

 

1979

  • Provided $7,347,000 for a $28 per month across the board raise and $3 per month to the yearly increment pay up to 13 years.
  • Provided for school employees to use 3 days of their personal leave (sick leave) days annually without showing cause for the use of such days.
  • Provided law for suspension and expelling of students and fines and jail terms for persons who threaten, attempt or cause bodily harm to school employees.
  • Increased unemployment compensation benefits from 66-2/3 to 70% of the average weekly wage and extended the benefit period from 26 to 28 weeks.

 

1980

  • Provided for $80 across the board raise ranging from a minimum of $800 for 10 month employees to $1,044 for 261 day personnel.  The average raise is 11.04%.  The cost of this legislation is estimated at $12,578.384.
  • Provided for custodians to be paid one-eighth higher total salaries if they work an interrupted work schedule (split-shift).  Approximate cost to counties, $220,308.
  • Provided "Sanitation Plant Operator" classification with pay grade "F".  Estimated cost, $2,300.
  • Provided "Secretary II" reclassification to give all school secretaries "Secretary II" classification.  Cost to the state, $29,642.
  • Added language that prohibits employees from being relegated to any condition of employment if such results in reduction of salary, rate of pay, compensation or benefits.
  • Provided for at least $1,000,000 of professional liability insurance for all school employees and board members.  The cost to the state being $397,839.
  • Authorized boards to provide appropriate uniforms for service personnel.
  • Authorized boards to purchase other kinds of insurance not provided by the Public Employees Insurance Plan such as dental, optical, etc.
  • Reduced the hours required to be worked in a week from 42 to 40 before overtime payment is made.
  • Provided $15 per year of service for retirees who worked 10 years, retired before July 1, 1976, and were receiving less than $6,000 annually.  Approximately 8,200 retirees received raise.  Cost: $3.2 million.

 

1981

  • Provided for $56 across the board pay raise, increased monthly increment $5 and extended the increments to 16 years.  Cost: $15,972,721.
  • Prevented boards from reducing county supplements unless levy fails.
  • Prohibited employees from working more than 5 days per week or employer accumulating a part of any working day for future working assignments unless employees agree.
  • Established a provision for time and one-half pay of employee's usual hourly rate if required to work on any legal holiday.
  • Raised the pay grade of Executive Secretary classification to G.  Cost: $24,416.
  • Provided for the State Superintendent to use the assistance of the Attorney General to force boards to properly classify employees.
  • Provided for service personnel minimum salaries to be fully funded in the state aid formula at a rate of 34 employees per 1,000 students.
  • Provided funds to employ service personnel substitutes and funds to replace school buses every 8 years instead of 10.
  • Provided that employees are entitled to a hearing before the board when disputes occur and the court awarding attorney fees ($500 Circuit Court and Supreme Court) and court reporter costs if employee wins in court.
  • Mandated statewide breakfast program in all schools (unless exempt).  This could require employment of additional foodservice personnel.
  • Improved the calendar by establishing that school begin by September 1 and close by June 1 and reduced from 180 to 178 the number of instructional days that remain in the calendar before make up days begin.
  • Defined service personnel substitutes and established their pay and further requires boards to fill vacant positions within 10 days with substitutes given preferential treatment.
  • Provided that extracurricular duties shall be made only by mutual agreement between the employee and county superintendent or his designee.  A contract of employment shall not be conditioned upon the employee's acceptance of any extracurricular assignment.
  • Authorized boards to allow employees to use board owned transportation vehicles to travel from residence to work and return.
  • Provided approximately $3,241,000 in the school aid formula to pay for service personnel substitutes.
  • Authorized boards to pay employees bonuses for unused days of personal (sick) leave.  (Employees do not lose days when bonuses are paid.)
  • Excluded service personnel salaries from being published in newspapers.
  • Provided seniority rights regarding promotion, extra-duty assignment and recall to work after termination.
  • Extended the 1980 increased retirement benefits to those retiring prior to July 1, 1977.  Cost: $1,620,000.
  • Appropriated $35,800,000 to supplement the school employees' retirement fund.

 

1982

  • Provided benefit increases for many retirees who had not previously been given the increases provided in the 1980 and 1981 legislation sessions.
  • Provided that all service personnel jobs are filled by service personnel only.
  • Mandated that service personnel be provided a 30 minute duty-free lunch period and that the lunch period be counted as work time.
  • Provided that laid off employees' Public Employees Insurance coverage is extended for 3 months and that if such employees return to work within a year they do not have to pay the 30% premium cost again.
  • Authorized boards to provide four non-instructional days within the employment term for the benefit of the employees outside the school environment (paid vacation days).
  • Prohibited boards from reclassifying service personnel without their written consent.
  • Provided that employees working on weekends shall be paid at least one-half day's pay for reporting for work and at least a full day's pay if they work more than 3-1/2 hours.
  • Provided that secretaries who have met the definition of a "Secretary II" for 12 continuous years shall automatically become a "Secretary III".
  • Provided that school employees shall be covered with $5,000,000 of additional liability insurance.  Employees now have a total of $6,000,000 liability coverage FREE.
  • Extended the unemployment benefit coverage from 28 to 39 weeks.
  • Placed on the November general election ballot a referendum requiring a simple majority of votes to pass a special levy or bond issue instead of the 60% requirement. It will take a simple majority of votes by the public to pass this referendum.  (Amendment passed.)

 

1983

  • Established by law a model uniform contract form that must be used by all boards when employing any service personnel including substitutes.
  • Substantially strengthened the seniority law as follows:
  • Defined qualifications.
  • Required board to show why employees with most seniority is not promoted or employed to fill the "bid on" position.
  • Defined extra-duty assignments.
  • Required boards to post all vacancies at least 5 days, job described in full and vacancies filled within 20 days.
  • Provided penalties for failure to comply with the law.
  • Provided seniority rights for substitutes as follows:
  • Mandated that substitutes must be hired to fill vacancies when regular employee is absent.
  • Required that substitutes must be hired on a rotating, seniority basis.
  • Provided that after 30 days employment, substitutes are protected under the tenure, transfer, dismissal and contract sections of law.
  • Provided that when a school employee is subpoenaed as a witness in criminal court proceedings, the board pays the difference of the employee's salary and any applicable witness fee.
  • Provided seniority rights for multi-countyVo-Tech employees.
  • Authorized board to lease school buses to private corporations to transport school-age children to summer camps and educational activities, but requires regular Bus Operators to operate such buses.

 

 

 

1984

  • Provided for a $44 across the board raise, increased the monthly increment $2, extended the increments to 20 years and established a minimum supplement of $99 per month (equalization pay).  The average raise is over 11% and $16.8 million of state funds are appropriated.
  • Established a new definition for special education aides making their promotions to Aide II and Aide III easier and, further, established a new Aide IV classification.
  • Increased benefits for certain retirees.
  • Provided for retirement at any age with 30 years service and with modified benefits.
  • Provided for unused personal (sick) leave days to pay for public employee insurance premiums upon retirement.
  • Made qualifying for tenure easier when moving to another county by requiring
  • only one year of service.
  • Made possible for an employee to purchase additional insurance on self ($50,000), spouse ($5,000) and each dependent child ($2,000) through the Public Employees Insurance Plan.
  • Provided for Voluntary Contemplation, Meditation or Prayer In School and The Better School, Roads and Public Works Construction Amendments to be voted on by the public in the 1984 general election November 6th.

 

1985

  • Provided a $44 per month (2.20 per day) pay increase across the board for all service personnel.  Cost: $6,413,743.
  • Increased the number of increment years from 20 to 25.  Cost: $1,046,680.
  • Increased the potential growth rate from 10% to 20% in the state aid formula; thus, enabling counties to reach their 34/1,000 employee ratio in one-half the time formerly required.  Cost: $1,233,858.
  • RESA's were brought into the formula which may affect RESA service personnel in various ways.
  • Prohibited boards from changing any service personnel's daily work schedule during the school year without the employee's written consent.
  • Prohibited boards from changing any service personnel's daily hours-of-work that results in the prevention of paying the employee time and one-half wages or the employment of another employee.
  • Provided funds to retain the first step of equity pay of $99 per month established in 1984 for service personnel. Cost: $6,683,749.
  • Established a state mandated grievance law with appeals being brought before a hearing examiner.
  • Provided retirees with a $3 per year increase in benefits for each year employed, providing such retirees retired prior to July 1, 1978, with 10 years' employment and are not presently receiving in excess of $7,500 annually in retirement benefits.  Cost: $900,000.
  • Provided for former school employees who retired prior to April 21, 1972 (or their surviving spouses) to be covered under the Public Employees Insurance Plan by paying the premiums.  At age 65: Family Plan. $43 per month.  Single Plan, $26 per month.

 

1986

  • Provided a $600-783 per year ($3 per day) across the board pay raise.  Cost: $8,839,002.
  • Authorized boards to establish personal (sick) leave banks for their employees.
  • Mandated overtime pay for those required to work beyond regular day during a week when there is a paid holiday.
  • Provided loss reduction funds of $899,814 which helps avoid lay-offs.
  • Provided funds ($1,400,000) for four counties which otherwise would result in all school employees taking a small equity pay cut.
  • Enacted a law requiring the Teachers Retirement Board to allow retirement credit for all years worked as school employees regardless of the salary they were paid.
  • Enacted a law allowing school employees to count up to five "summer school attending" days as employment days and be paid when the county superintendent approves.
  • Provided those retiring before April 21, 1972 to participate in the Public Employees Insurance Plan by paying the premiums with the option of purchasing either "health" or "term life" insurance or both.
  • Provided an increase of benefits for retirees who retired during the school year 1978-79.
  • Increased from $100,000 to $322,970 state funds to employ two additional hearing examiners and clerical help in employee grievance cases.
  • Provided unlimited professional liability insurance protection for school employees when sued for negligence while performing assigned duties.

 

1987

  • Mandated that the property tax reappraisal program be put in effect July 1, 1987.  Schools are expected to benefit by the reappraisal program.
  • Submitted to the public for vote March 5, 1988 a constitutional amendment providing for a 90% statewide excess school levy.
  • Provided for persons desiring to address a governing body (boards of education) may do so by registering to speak fifteen (15) minutes before the meeting starts.

 

1988

  • Established sabbatical leave for certain aides.
  • Changed Secretary III definition to enable Secretaries II to be elevated to Secretary III classification more quickly.
  • Provided for unused personal (sick) leave days either to be used to pay PEIA insurance premiums or for additional retirement credit.
  • Established minimum extra-duty assignment pay scale.
  • Changed Workers' Compensation/personal (sick) leave laws to preserve use of personal (sick) leave days.
  • Provided one pay grade higher pay for aides who volunteer to supervise (be in control of) pupils.
  • Provided for the Public Employees Insurance Agency to establish dental/optical/etc. insurance coverage for boards to purchase if they choose.
  • Established an early retirement incentive plan.
  • Added three more Outside School Environment (OSE) days making a total of seven that can be used for establishing paid vacation days.
  • Provided funds to restore employees' county supplements in Grant and RitchieCounties -- total $599,333.

 

1989

  • Provided for a $27 per month across the board pay increase, added $2 per month increment, extended increment years from 25 to 30 and provided $10 per month pay for holders of a high school diploma or its equivalent at a cost of $5,154,107 -- effective the second half of employees' 1989-90 employment terms.
  • Gave presently employed aides the option of volunteering to provide health services for special education students by the 1990-91 school year.
  • Reduced board members' terms from 6 to 4 years; thus enhancing the likelihood those board members will be more responsive and sensitive to the public and board employee needs.
  • Provide for approximately $120,000,000 being added to the retirement system and financing it in the future through the state aid formula to boost its solvency.
  • Provided $113,000,000 to be allocated to the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA).  Approximately $77,000,000 from other sources and cost saving legislation amounting to $30,000,000 was also provided to more adequately finance the PEIA program.

 

1990

  • Provided $20 per month ($1.00 per each day employed) additional equity pay for all school service employees in all 55 counties.
  • Provided $1,943,481 to add to equity pay for all employees in eligible counties.  (This is an average increase of $16 per month in addition to the $20 increase above.)
  • Mandated that boards pay all costs for employees when acquiring a Commercial Drivers License if such is required as a condition of employment including applicants who become employed.
  • Established a uniform testing system for service personnel when qualifying for a position in a different category of employment than the category in which an employee is already employed.
  • Established a paraprofessional classification title with an "F" pay grade.
  • Provided an $84 per month across the board pay raise which absorbed the pay raise, equity pay and funds listed above.  Equity pay was established as $115 per month.

 

1991

  • Established the method of summer employment and the pay of personnel for summer employment.
  • Mandated that boards pay for electrician's license renewal when boards require renewal.
  • Established special job bidding rights for tenured employees who become incapacitated.
  • Provided for the extension of sick leave benefits to allow employees to be absent when a family member is extremely ill.
  • Provided a $17 per month across the board pay raise.

 

1992

  • Established an "Autism Mentor" classification title.   Cost: $19,433 to $54,439.
  • Provided for a Secretary II to become a Secretary III in eight years instead of twelve affecting 272 secretaries at a state funded cost of $210,846.
  • Provided a minimum hourly rate of pay for asbestos workers over and above their regular daily rate of pay.
  • Established staff development councils in all counties with permanent annual funding through the state aid formula.  The 1992-93 funds provided for the councils were $190,433.
  • Established that once a classification is held by an employee, that person is permanently qualified for any job in that classification category.
  • Strengthened the grievance procedure law substantially.
  • Increased benefits for those who retired prior to July 1, 1981, and July 1, 1982, at a cost of $4,260,000 affecting 12,546 retirees.

 

1993

  • Provided for aides, school lunch, maintenance and office personnel to be paid one-eighth higher total salaries if they work an interrupted work schedule (split shift).
  • Confirmed and clarified many provisions of the seniority law and required posting of seniority lists in all schools and working stations by September 1 and January 15 of each school year.
  • Established West Virginia Day (June 20) as a paid school holiday.
  • Repealed law allowing board to employ and fill aides' position vacancies on the basis of "qualifications" instead of competency tests and seniority.
  • Repealed law that allowed State Board of Education to establish service personnel classification titles and pay grades.

 

1994

  • Provided a $60 per month across the board pay increase, added $3 per month increment, provided $10 per month pay for 12 college hours or comparable trade or vocational school credit and $10 per month for any daily shift work performed between 6 PM and 5 AM following.
  • Phased out professionals holding "director or coordinator of services" service personnel jobs by 1996.
  • Required all extracurricular jobs to be posted in the future.
  • Protected special education aides from being reassigned to more than one school and other school personnel from being required to administer medication to students.
  • Provided certain retirees with $1 and $2 monthly increases per year service.
  • Protected service personnel jobs from being posted when their employment terms have been altered.

 

1995

  • Enacted a safe schools bill.
  • Provided law enabling Bus Operators to obtain warrants directly from magistrates.
  • Enabled reemployed employees to be readmitted to a retirement system of choice.
  • Provided $2,000,000 to counties with increased enrollments.
  • Appropriated $500,000 to finance as many as 67 service personnel jobs in sparsely populated counties.
  • Caused $180,000,000 to be added to the Teachers Retirement System, making it more solvent.
  • Allocated $1,500,000 for Monroe, Preston, Randolph and Upshur counties to make failed levies pay adjustments.

 

1996

  • Provided a $30 per month across the board pay raise and increased the monthly increment pay from $25 to $26 for each year of service.  Cost:  $6,247,953.
  • Mandated that special education aides be paid one pay grade higher than their highest paid pay grade for performing special health care services.  Cost:  $294,760.
  • Granted summer employees almost all rights, privileges and benefits that are provided service personnel employees who are employed during a regular employment term.
  • Recommended a cook/meal ratio of 90 meals per full-day cook (12 meals per each hour worked).  School lunches are counted as a whole meal; all others three-fourths (3/4ths) of a whole meal.
  • Allowed school boards to use additional 25% of Step 7 formula funds to hire personnel for 1996-97.  (Fifty percent (50%) of Step 7 funds may now be used to hire personnel and up to $16,260,497 can be used for 1996-97.)
  • Provided that aides who become classified as a paraprofessional, or autism mentor, or Braille or sign language specialist shall retain the aide title and be multiclassified.  Cost:  $140,333.
  • Mandated that aides certified as a paraprofessional and performs paraprofessional duties must be paid the paraprofessional salary even though they are not classified as a paraprofessional.
  • Defined "direct supervision" as requiring that a certificated professional be present, with and accompanying an aide--otherwise the aide qualifies for supervisory pay.  Cost:  $15,049.
  • Placed aides, paraprofessionals, autism mentors and Braille or sign language specialists in the same category of employment.
  • Allowed for a substitute filling a vacancy for a regular employee on a leave of absence for more than 30 days to accumulate both regular and substitute seniority at the same time.  Also, all employees involved in such "leave of absence" circumstances are returned to their original positions when the "leave" ends.
  • Improved the method of breaking ties when two or more employees in the same category have the same accumulated seniority.
  • Prohibited, after July 1, 1996, employees from becoming employed in more than one whole day regular job or two one-half day regular jobs.
  • Defined that all jobs that are not regular or extra-duty shall be extracurricular.
  • Provided that any aide who supervises students shall be paid one pay grade higher than the highest pay grade that the aide is paid and possesses.  Cost:  $15,483.
  • Authorized boards to equip school buses with 50 candlepower backup lights instead of 32 candlepower to give bus operators better vision when operating buses in reverse.
  • Increased retirees' benefits two dollars per month for each year of service for those retiring after July 1, 1984, and before July 1, 1986.
  • Increased retirees' benefits one dollar per month for each year of service for those receiving $300 or less per month and who retired before July 1, 1986.  These retiree increases cost $689,858.

 

1997

  • Provided for a study on programs for children under age 5.  (The result may require additional employment of service personnel.)
  • Established certain seniority rights for school personnel of inter-county transfer arrangements.
  • Required unused staff development council funds to be carried over in the council account to the next fiscal year.
  • Submitted to the public for vote September 27, 1997 a constitutional amendment allowing public employees' retirement and benefit funds to be invested in stock.  (It is felt that stock return profits may free up general funds that can be used for other needs.)

 

1998

  • Provided a $60 per month across the board raise, increased the monthly increment from $26 to $27 and increased the increment years to 36 for 1998-99.  Committed to a $60 per month across the board raise and increased the monthly increment from $27 to $28 for 1999-2000.  Committed to a $60 per month across the board raise and increased the monthly increment from $28 to $29 for 2000-2001.
  • Provided $171,820 for academic related curricular trips.
  • Provided $7.1 million in the budget to prohibit PEIA premium increases.  Also, added $28,000,000 in the budget for PEIA to make it more solvent.
  • Provided retirees who retired after July 1, 1986, and before April 1, 1998, an increase in benefits of two dollars per month for each year of service credit.
  • Provided retirees who retired before April 1, 1988, and who receive a monthly pension of three hundred dollars or less, a one dollar per month increase for each year of service credit.  The cost of these increases is $625,000.
  • Provided $199,000,000 to the Teachers Retirement System to make it more solvent.

 

1999

  • Provided a $60 per month across the board raise and increased the monthly increment from $27 to $28 at a cost of $12,721,606.
  • Provided additional pay of $10 per month each for holders of 24, 36 or 48 college hours or comparable credit acquired in a trade or vocational school.  Cost:  $186,876.
  • Created 120 new service personnel jobs at a cost of $2,325,071.
  • Provided $212,027,000 for making the teachers retirement system more solvent.
  • Established special sick leave bank law for care givers.
  • Provided for a surviving spouse who is also employed by the board, to receive unused personal leave days of a spouse who died by accident.
  • Appropriated $10.7 million to keep PEIA premiums from increasing.
  • Provided stiff assault/battery penalties for those attempting or committing violent injury to school employees while off duty.

 

2000

  • Provided a $60 per month across the board raise, increased the monthly increment pay from $28 to $29 at a cost of $11,665,792.
  • Increased the increment years for pay purposes from 36 to 40 and provided additional pay of $10 per month for each level of training for those holding 62 or 72 college hours or comparable credit obtained in a trade or vocational school.  Cost:   $216,595.  
  • Defined maintenance personnel as those holding a classification title other than in an Aide, Transportation, Custodial, School Lunch or Office category.   
  • Provided that regular employees, who are not employed in the summer, to be used as substitutes for absent employees who hold temporary summertime jobs.
  • Mandated that job applicants are to be notified of the date and time of the one day of training prior to taking competency tests and date and time of the tests.
  • Provided that upon the termination of a leave of absence, suspension, illness or recovery from an injury, employees are to be returned to the same jobs as they held prior to the beginning of these circumstances.
  • Defined a leave of absence as requiring the employee to request a leave in writing to the board and that the leave, if granted, to be in writing by the board.  Further, no employee may be required to neither request a leave nor be deprived of any right, privilege or benefit for refusal to take a leave of absence.
  • Provided that retirees who have 20 years or more service credit will receive no less than $500 per month pensions. Longtime cost: $23,200,000.
  • Appropriated $225,645,313 to make the Teachers Retirement System more solvent and to further reduce the system’s deficit in the Legislature’s 40 year plan to retire the system’s indebtedness.
  • Provided that employees absent from work while receiving temporary total disability benefits as a result of a compensable injury, many purchase retirement credit for such a period of absence.  The purchase must be made between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001.

 

2001

  • Provided a $75 across the board raise, increased the monthly increment pay from $29 to $30.  Both effective first day of second quarter of employment terms during the 2001-2002 school year.
  • Increased the pay from $10 to $12 per month for holders of a high school diploma or its equivalent during the 2001-2002 school year.
  • Increased the pay from $10 per month for each level of training for those holding 84, 96, 108 or 120 college hours or comparable credit obtained in a trade or vocational school.
  • Provided additional pay of $10 per month for holders of a bachelor’s degree and $10 per month for holders of a master’ degree.
  • Provided a one time 10% increase in the pensions of retirees 70 years of age who have been retired five consecutive years; a 5% increase for retirees 65 years of age who have been retired five consecutive years and a 3% increase for retirees 65 years of age who retired under the early retirement incentive plan as far back as 1988.
  • Added new language in the transfer section of law that provides there must be an actual needed reason to place employees on the transfer list.
  • Authorized boards to rescind action taken on transfers and RIF’s up to August 1 if it is found that the transfer or RIF’s were unnecessary.
  • Clarified language that all employees reduced in force, including continuing contract and probationary employees, receive preferred recall status on July 1 following their RIF’s notices.
  • Prohibited boards from tailoring or wording job descriptions in job postings in such a way as to favor particular persons or applicants.
  • Prohibited boards from sending notices of job terminations based on the failure or possible failure of a special levy.  The new law does not allow termination of contracts or reposting of positions if such a special levy fails.
  • Provided that school personnel, who were in the Teachers Retirement System prior to July, 1991 and left the system for any reason, then returned as school employees and were placed in the new consolidated retirement system, they may return to the Teachers Retirement System if they choose to do so by June 30, 2002.
  • Established Accounts Payable Supervisor and Payroll Supervisor classifications.  Both pay grade “G”.

 

2002

  • Provided a $71 per month across the board raise and increased the monthly increment pay from $30 to $31.  Note: The full year effect of the 2001 pay raise boosted the 2002 pay of service personnel another $19 per month.
  • Established seven more educational levels of pay making a total of twenty pay levels for educational and/or training achievement.
  • Provided higher pay grade for secretaries who volunteer to dispense medications to students.
  • Strengthened staff development requirements for service personnel.
  • Guaranteed holders of extracurricular assignments to retain the assignments if they still exist.
  • Provided for $2,500,000 to be appropriated for each of 12 years beginning 2005 to hire more employees including an estimated 700 new service employees.
  • Allowed for retired employees in teachers retirement system to choose a new option for benefits if the retired employee’s spouse dies.
  • Provided for former CETA employees to receive up to two years retirement credit for time served in that capacity.
  • Established a new classification title “WVEIS data entry and administrative clerk”, Pay Grade “B”.

 

2003

  • Provided that from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, members of the defined benefit teachers’ retirement system  (old teachers’ retirement system) can purchase retirement credit lost due to absence from work as a result of worker’s compensation injury.

 

 

 

2004

  • Provided that bus drivers be notified when transporting students who have exhibited violent behavior.
  • Provided for reduction of paperwork for school employees.  Mandates that student suspensions and expulsions can be recorded on WVEIS.
  • Allowed CountyBoards to schedule service personnel competency testing in facilities other than county vocational center.
  • Clarified reasons for which Paraprofessional and Teaching certificates may be revoked.  Provided that reasons for revocation must be related to person’s ability to perform one’s job.
  • Clarified substitute service personnel seniority and job posting.  The board of education is required to post those positions of regular employees who have requested and have been granted a leave of absence of more than 30 working days or who have been absent from work for more than 30 working days and who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits. 
  • Permitted school bus operators to “step up” into their absent co-workers’ positions.  Defined who constitutes the “same building or working station” for school bus operators.
  • Allowed school service personnel to make contributions to the retirement system for up to two years while on Worker’s Compensation.  For each year purchased, employee shall receive a year of experience for increment pay purposes.
  • Former SBE Policy 5300 is codified in West Virginia Code §18A-2-12a.
  • Related to advancing community and technical college education.

 

2005

  • Provided for a six-month freeze on employee costs for PEIA premiums.
  • Provided for vote by employees on the merger of the Defined Contribution (New) Retirement System and the Defined Benefit (Old) Retirement System.
  • Provided for a $90 per month across the board pay raise.

 

2006

  • Provided for a 3% increase for retirees who are at least 70 years old and have been retired for at least 5 years.
  • Appropriated $718,400,000.00 to make the Teachers Retirement System more solvent and to further reduce the system’s deficit in the Legislature’s 40 year plan to retire the system’s indebtedness.

 

2007

  • Pay Raise bill:

 

  1. Provides a 3.5% pay raise to all service personnel.
  2. Creates a new service personnel class title for “Licensed Practical Nurse”; and provides that hiring of LPNs shall not result in the layoff of currently employed aides.
  3. Increases “Autism Mentor” from pay grade “E” to “F”.
  4. Increases “Sanitation Plant Operator” from pay grade "F” to “G.”

 

  • Service Personnel Omnibus bill:

 

  1. Strengthens guidelines for using charter buses to transport students, making it much more difficult for counties to “contract out” our jobs.
  2. Requires vehicles used to transport students meet school bus or public transit ratings.
  3. Prohibits the transportation of students in 15 passenger vans.
  4. Requires county boards to provide 12 hours of training to teachers’ aides.
  5. Requires county boards to pay half of the cost for autism mentor certification.
  6. Adds “Licensed Practical Nurse” definition to service personnel class titles.
  7. Provides that the beginning of the work day for bus operators and transportation aides must start at a county owned facility unless the employee agrees otherwise.
  8. Requires county board to post service personnel job vacancies on web site and notify applicants of status of their application.
  9. Allows service personnel to vote whether to give priority to service personnel in schools to be merged or consolidated when filling positions in the new school or newly created positions in existing schools.
  10. Clarifies substitute seniority by allowing substitute school service personnel to accrue substitute seniority, but not regular service personnel seniority or regular employee bidding rights while employed as a substitute.
  11. Requires each county board to establish a personal leave bank for employees and provides conditions for donation and use of leave.
  12. Allows transfer of accrued personal leave between employees in cases of catastrophic medical emergencies; and
  13. Limits transfer by autism mentors or aides serving autistic students after the 5th day prior to the beginning of each semester.

 

  1. PEIA bill:

 

  1. Contains many important provisions including WVSSPA’s “hold harmless” language for Medicare eligible retirees.
  2. Ensures that PEIA will maintain medical and prescription coverage for Medicare eligible retired employees;
  3. Provides that if a Medicare/Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD) should fail, then PEIA will take all Medicare eligible retired employees back into the existing PEIA plan or provide another plan of equal or better coverage;
  4. Maintains the 80/20 premium split for the state and the employee and clarifies that the future liability will not be included in the employee’s share of the 80/20 split.  This provision should help stop cost-shifting from the employer to the employee.
  5. In addition, the bill contains the following provisions: county board of education employees who are expected to serve as long-term substitutes for more than 90 consecutive days will qualify for PEIA coverage.  The posting must specify that the position is for 90 days or more; long-term substitutes who work continuously for 133 days and continue through the end of the instructional term will qualify for PEIA over the summer months.

 

  • Early Notification of Retirement bill:

Authorizes county boards of education to pay $500.00 (five hundred dollars) from county funds to any service employee who gives notification of retirement prior to February 1 of a given year. Several counties were already doing this, but a legal opinion held that this practice was illegal without enabling legislation.

  • Mileage Reimbursement bill

Requires that local school boards reimburse mileage to a school service employee using his or her own vehicle for work related duties, and that the reimbursement be no less than the state rate (currently 44.5 cents per mile.)

  • Grievance Procedure bill  
  1. Creating a new West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board with five members (two of whom shall represent employee organizations) appointed by the Governor; giving the board new powers, duties, rule-making authority and data collection responsibilities;
  2. Eliminating the informal meeting and step one of the current procedure;
  3. Making the grievance procedure more fair, efficient, cost effective and consistent;
  4. Clarifying definitions and general grievance procedures;
  5. Disallowing supervisors who evaluate from being representatives;
  6. Clarifying and reorganizing general provisions;
  7. Clarifying the default provisions; stating when employees may be represented;
  8. Clarifying the procedure for conferences and hearings;
  9. Removing hearing examiners from the grievance procedure;
  10. Making technical corrections to affected sections of the code.


School Aid Formula Revision bill:

  1. Increases the amount of funds to the county boards of education by dropping the local share from 98% to 90% over a two-year period.   In other words, the county boards of education will be receiving more money.
  2. Working with our locals, we will be developing salary campaigns to grab a share of the increased funds, as we believe a majority of these funds should be used to address salaries.
  3. In addition, the bill addresses the problems of our growth counties.  Under the bill, those counties with a three year average growth of 2% or more will receive, through a formula, an increase in funds.  This will help our growth counties where they are struggling to maintain pace with the rapid school enrollment growth.  Counties, such as Berkeley and Jefferson, could receive almost $500,000 and $200,000, respectively, in additional funding.

 

 

 

2008

  • Salary Bill (SB 573)

When the session started, the Governor proposed a 3% pay raise for service personnel. By the time the session closed, your WVSSPA lobbyists had been able to increase the pay raise to $70 per month or 3.5%. The $70 per month increase added to your $32 per month experience increment means you will see a salary increase of $1,020 next year.

  • Pension Transfer

This bill provides that members of the TDC (new pension plan) may elect to transfer to the TRS (old pension plan) if certain conditions are met.

  • Local Share Monies

Last year, the legislature passed SB 541 which generated an increase of approximately $16 million in local share money for county boards to spend at their discretion. We have been able to negotiate county level salary increases and benefit enhancements in many counties from this money. As you recall, the Governor introduced legislation this session to mandate that this local share money be used only for classroom teacher salaries. With the cooperation of AFT-WV, we were able to defeat this bill.

  • School Aid Formula Bill (HB 4588)

Over a five year period, this bill provides approximately $64 million in additional funding to most counties.  The bill provides funding for 80 additional service personnel positions. The bill also updates the definition of net enrollment.

  • Bus Operators with Diabetes (HB 4059)

This bill relates to protecting the rights of bus operators who treat diabetes by allowing them to receive a waiver to drive while taking insulin.

  • WVSSPA’s Safe School bill (HB 4368)

The purpose of the bill is to reduce acts of student violence and disruptive behavior through the implementation of a   Bill of Rights and responsibility for students.  In addition, the bill requires more involvement and input by service personnel in oversight of discipline policies and requires a series of county-wide meetings to be held in addition to increased penalties for chronically disruptive students.

  • Bus Operator Certification (HB 4554)

This bill provides that bus operators take the written component of their annual recertification every other year instead of every year.

  • Grievance Bill (SB 780)

This bill provides clean-up to last year’s grievance reform legislation including clarifying the definition of harassment and favoritism.

  • Special Education Aides (HB 4478)

This bill provides that aides and paraprofessionals may only transfer once per year if they are assigned to a student who’s IEP requires a “one-on-one services.” These individuals may bid for and receive any open position, but may not assume said position until five days prior to the next instructional term.

  • Automatic Chains on School Buses (HB 4407)

This bill requires that all new school buses purchased after July I, 2008 be equipped with automatic tire chains.

2009

  • The Pension Transfer (HB 2870)

Extends the time within which a member of the TDC (new plan) who transferred to TRS (old plan) is required to pay the amount to purchase the 25% additional service credit from the current deadline of June 30th, 2009 or within 90 days after the postmarked date on the final calculation notice from the CPRB, whichever is later.   Thanks to the leadership of the House Pension and Retirement Chair Sharon Spencer and Senate Pension and Retirement Chair Dan Foster who guided the bill through their respective Houses.

  • Service Personnel Seniority (HB 3146)

Clarifies seniority rights for school service personnel.  The bill provides that vacancies will be awarded first to current employees within classification, then RIF’d employees within classification, then the normal order for awarding jobs. The bill also provides that assignments within schools for aides must be based upon seniority. Additionally, this bill requires assignment of custodians to certain shifts be made based upon seniority.

 

  • GI Yellow Ribbon Bill (HB 2335)

This bill requires West Virginia public colleges and universities to participate in the federal Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program.  The Program provides eligible post-9/11 veterans additional moneys (an amount equal to the cost of in-state tuition at the most expensive public university or college in the state) towards the cost of tuition and fees at institutions of higher education. 

  • HB 2530

This bill provides technical clean-up from last year’s school aid formula bill as this bill clarifies that nurses and guidance counselors are still considered in the general employee classification of “teacher” and are professional educators.

  • HB 2734

This bill defines that the minimum guaranteed benefit for those who selected to transfer from the new plan to the old plan will be the vested portion of their new plan account as of July 1, 2008 plus all member contributions to the old plan since. .

  • SB 258

The Governor’s bill clarifies that local governmental bodies would not be held personally or criminally liable for OPEB liabilities.  

  • SB 373

Changes the amount of the scholarship to a maximum award of $4,750 and increases funding to PROMISE by $2 million.  In addition, a faculty member representing extension services or Health Science at WVU shall be selected by the Faculty Senate and added to the BOG.

  • SB 498

This bill addresses early childhood programs and preserves the state’s eligibility to receive federal funding. A quality rating improvement system is created and the Boards of Education must report to the Department of Health and Human Services documenting the extent that they are maximizing resources.

 

  • Resolutions passed

 

House Concurrent Resolution to study potential alternative methods for assisting county boards of education to meet the facility needs of their school systems.

House Concurrent Resolution to study improving the ability of public schools to make a study on improving the ability of public schools to effectively recruit and employ well qualified graduates.

Senate Concurrent Resolution to study school personnel employment and retention, professional skills and development, pay for performance models and incentive programs, teacher evaluations and how each affects student performance.

 

2010

  • SB 498

This bill reopened the “buy back” window and allowed certain education employees the opportunity to pay the amount to purchase the 25% additional service time in the TRS under certain conditions.  Deadline: April 15, 2010.

  • SB 391

The amended bill allows employees of county boards to run for the BOE but, if elected, will have to resign their position in order to serve.

  • SB 449

This bill specifies that preexisting medical conditions are covered by PEIA insurance.

  • HB 4040

School Calendar Bill: The school calendar bill removes the starting and ending dates for the school term from law, but does not change the number of total instructional days, ISE days, CE days and holidays, and employees will continue to be paid for snow days.  All but one of the non-instructional days must be held prior to the last day of the instructional term. Employees will not be required to work outside their 200-day contract. The bill simply seeks to provide counties with the flexibility to start school earlier than August 26th and complete the first semester prior to the holiday recess, within the required 43 week period, if  they so choose. However, we need to be on our toes, because the Governor has already indicated he is going to try to remove the 43 week provision from law.

 

  • HB 4223

This bill relates to increasing the safety of school children that use school buses; increasing the criminal penalties for failure to stop a vehicle before reaching a school bus with flashing warning signal lights; and providing additional circumstances which increase the periods of ineligibility for parole upon sentences for certain felony convictions for the distribution of controlled substances in the proximity of students awaiting, boarding or exiting a school bus.

  • HB 4512

School Service Personnel Bill: This bill was drafted by WVSSPA. It clarifies the Definition of “Coordinator of Services”; requires that “School Bus Supervisor” have a valid CDL or has had a CDL in the past; requires that Supervisor of Transportation have five years of experience working in transportation for a county board; creates a definition for “Itinerant Service Personnel”; limits itinerant status only to aides and autism mentors assigned to exceptional students; provides that itinerant employees may only be moved twice in any school year, and then only after ten days written notice; requires that all service personnel job postings contain the starting and ending time of the shift; requires that all aide classification job postings include the program or primary assignment of the position; clarifies testing requirements for bus operators.

 

2011

  • HB 2879

Pay Raise Bill: This bill provides for all service personnel to receive a salary increase of at least $50 per month, up to 2% of salary with the increase not to exceed $120 per month.  Additionally, WVSSPA was able to get funding for the “salary equity” provision inserted into the pay bill.

  • HB 3145

Retirement Bill: This bill provides for a one-time bonus of $1200 to retirees who draw less than $600 per month from their TRS retirement.

 

2012

  • SB 186

Salary Equity: This bill clarifies the equity money that teachers and service personnel receive as part of the regular salary scale.  It prevents the WV Department from lowering equity supplements for personnel.

  • SB 221

The Jason Flatt Act: This bill requires the Center for Professional Development to provide routine education for all teachers and service personnel who have direct contact with students on the warning signs to assist in suicide prevention.

  • SB 371

School System Collaborative Innovation Zone (McDowell County Bill): This bill allows for a county school system that is under state board of education takeover status to apply to become a “School System Collaborative Innovation Zone” and allows McDowell County , if it so chooses, the first opportunity to apply.  It provides that the plan may include a request for waivers of county and state board rules, policies and interpretations, and statues.  Waivers may not be granted for seniority, hiring, RIF or transfer laws.

  • SB 469

OPEB Bill: WVSSPA helped Governor Tomblin craft this bill to remove a $485 million OPEB liability off the books of county school boards and free up the funds that were set aside by county school boards to reinstate RIFFED employees and/or provide pay raises.

  • HB 4299

Bus Operator Use (Boy Scout Bill): This bill authorizes a county board of education to use the services of a bus operator from another county in certain circumstances.  WVSSPA helped craft his bill to transport thousands of Boy Scouts expected to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree next summer in FayetteCounty.

  • HB 4583

RIF & Transfer Dates:  WVSSPA drafted language that would return the RIF and Transfer dates to what they were several years ago to prevent RIF notices from being sent to employees before the holidays.  This bill changes the date that county boards must vote on proposed RIF’s “on or before March 1.”  Employees on transfer will now be notified on or before March 1 and transfers will be voted on by the county board “on or before April 15.”

  • HB 4655

Bus Operator Certification:  This bill will limit the reasons for revoking a certification.  It will also create a review panel (with Bus Operator members) to review revocation cases, rather than allowing the state transportation director to revoke a certificate.

 

2013

  • SB 355

The county board of education must pay the final wages owed to discharged employees within four business days or at the next regular payday, whichever comes first.  W.Va. Code §21-5-4(b).

  • SB 359

Beginning no later than the 2016-17 school year, each county board of education must make voluntary early childhood education programs available to all children who reach age 4 prior to September 1st of the year in which the student enters the program.  W.Va. Code §18-5-44 (c) & (d).

When actual student enrollment in a grade level or program, unforeseen before March 1st of the preceding school year, permits the assignment of fewer service personnel, may reassign the surplus personnel to another program within the school or to another school.  The service employee so assigned must be the least senior of the surplus service personnel needed to perform the duties in the new program or school.  All such reassignments must occur on or before the last day of the second school month.  The designated employee is entitled to advance notice and an opportunity to appear before the board to object.  W.Va. Code §18A-2-7(e).

Teacher’s aides and paraprofessionals who work in kindergarten classrooms are required to obtain authorization as an Early Childhood Classroom Assistant Teacher effective July 1, 2014.  Aides and paraprofessionals who are eligible to retire on or before July 1, 2020 are exempt from authorization. Aides who obtain such authorization will be paid on pay grade E.  (W.Va. Code §§18-5-18(b); 18A-4-8 (87), (88), (89); 18A-4-8a (a)(2).

School systems must provide at least 180 days of actual instruction each school year.  If 180 days cannot be achieved within the current school calendar, instruction must be scheduled on any available non-instructional day or an out-of-calendar day, but not on a legal school holiday, election day, or weekend day.  The State Department of Education can waive compliance with other school statutes in order to reach 180 days of instruction.  This amendment takes effect July 1, 2014.  W.Va. Code §18-5-45 (a)(1)(B), (c)(2), (e), (o).

A minimum employment term of 200 days must occur within a period of 48 weeks and need not be consecutive. This amendment takes effect July 1, 2014.  W.Va. Code §18-4-45(c).

Days lost due to school closures are not to be treated as days of employment.  However, a school employee’s pay schedule is not to be changed because of a school closing.  The employee must be paid the same amount for a pay period in which a school closing occurs as he or she would have been paid had it not occurred. This amendment takes effect July 1, 2014.  W.Va. Code §18A-5-2.

  • SB 663

By the 2015 school year, each county board of education must require all schools to adopt a delivery system, approved by the Office of Child Nutrition, to ensure that all students get an adequate opportunity to eat breakfast.  W.Va. Code §18-5D-3.

  • HB 2729

County school systems may stock epinephrine auto-injectors in schools in a secure location.  Non-medical school personnel who have been trained and designated by the school may lawfully administer such auto-injectors to students or to other school personnel during school hours or school functions.  Designated personnel may also access school auto-injectors for a student or employee who is authorized to self-administer subject to requirements.  Designated personnel are immune from civil liability arising out of the injection unless an act or omission resulting from the administration of the auto-injector was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.  W.Va. Code §18-5-22c(f).

 

2014

  • SB-391/HB 4261- Salary

Service Personnel will see an increase in the base pay beginning July 1, 2014. Additionally, added into the salary bill is approximately $4.2 million to address salary equity for service personnel.   Based upon a long standing court decision, education employee salaries must be at least 90% of salaries in the highest paid counties.  By law, the school aid formula must be adjusted periodically to ensure "salary equity", and the legislature is required to include the "equity" money in the salary schedule.  About $120.00 per employee in most counties is required to be added to achieve equity.

  • SB 461 - West Virginia Future Fund

The intention of this bill is to create a means of conserving a portion of the state's revenue derived from the increased revenue proceeds by the state as a result of any new oil and natural gas production as well as other funding sources as the Legislature may designate in order to meet future needs. The amended version of this bill states a portion of proceeds from certain severance tax revenues for future expenditures placed in an interest-bearing special revenue account. When the State decides to provide an employee pay raise, it could come from this revenue source in the future. WVSSPA has met with Senate President Kessler and are encouraged about a long term funding source for service personnel pay raises.

  • HB 3156 - Ensuring confidentiality

This legislation guarantees confidentiality between public employees and organizations that represent them. Certain school boards had begun issuing subpoenas attempting to gather confidential information discussed regarding the grievance process.   AFT-WV & WVSSPA fought to protect our members' rights in the grievance process working H.B.3156 through the House Labor and Judiciary committees and then again in the Senate Labor and Judiciary committees. The bill was laid over on the last day of session and appeared to be dead. At 11:15 PM the bill was considered by the full Senate and passed. The House concurred at 11:45 and now awaits the governor's signature.

  • HB 4283 — Raising the Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is $7.25 currently per hour.  This bill mandates that on January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will be $8.00 and on January 1, 2106, the minimum wage will be $8.75. The WV AFL-CIO worked diligently on this particular issue. We are proud of the work our labor allies contributed to this session. We are all about the working people of WV.

 

2015

  • HB 2702 – Multiclassification of aides, ECCATs and paraprofessionals

Passed House 97-0-3; Passed Senate 33-01-; Effective from passage
This bill will redefine service personnel class titles of early childhood classroom assistant teachers to smooth the transition of former early childhood aides to this new classification of school service personnel. The multiclassification status includes protections from reduction in force or transfer for those aides eligible for full retirement benefits before July 1, 2020, to create vacancy for less senior early childhood classroom assistant teachers. 

 

2016 

  • Committee Substitute for SB 146 – Establishing instruction standards for early childhood education.

This bill will allow a four-day, rather than require a five-day instruction week for early childhood education. Completed legislation, effective July 1, 2016.

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