How does the board go about taking action on employee renewal, non-renewal, contract extension and non-extension as required by law?
March 13, 2009
Renewal and non-renewal of teachers causes lots of confusion.
- For all teachers and administrators who are being renewed the action should be handled as a consent agenda item in public session as a single vote. There is no reason for the board to discuss them. If the board members want to make positive comments about employees they can do that in public. If a board member wishes further details on the person and the response or comments are likely to be negative, then the board member should ask to have that person's name removed from the consent agenda item. The board discussion of that name needs to be moved to an exec session as described below, AT A LATER MEETING - the employee must be given notice in advance and be allowed to attend.
- All individuals that the board has complaints about or that the Board is considering the dismissal or disciplining of , must be notified in advance and allowed to be present. That discussion is held in executive session under 192.660(2)(b) " To consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent who does not request an open hearing."
- The board can meet in exec session under ORS 192.660(f) "To consider information or records exempt by law from public inspection." and during that time they can review the personnel files (they are an exempt public record) of employees. If the Board is reviewing the negative performance evaluation of any employee contained in the personnel file, it is permissible. However, the board cannot discuss complaints about or consider the dismissal or disciplining of the employee under this statute. We do not recommend using this statute for exec session without your attorney's advice because we know that it is very easy for board members to slip into a conversation about the employee that could be considered a complaint.
- ORS 192.660(2)(d) "To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations." definitely does not apply to renewal, non-renewal, contract extension and non-extension and should not be used for this situation at all.
There is no provision for executive session discussion by the board of general personnel. The board hires and evaluates the superintendent. All other personnel management is the job of the superintendent. The board approves the superintendent's recommendation for renewal and non-renewal but any discussion in exec session should be done, in most cases, with notice given to the employees in advance so that they may attend if they wish.
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