GCQ - LRSD Board Policy

Published by jackbgarvey on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 14:55

LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT

NEPN CODE GCQ

 

REDUCTION IN FORCE

The Board of Education recognizes that a decrease in student enrollment (district-wide or within a particular program), school district reorganization, the financial condition of the school district, or other factors may make it necessary to place some staff members on involuntary leaves of absence without pay and/or other benefits. Recognizing that such action is potentially disruptive to school programs and individual staff members, the Board agrees that such a reduction will be made only after the Superintendent and the Board have given due consideration to alternatives to reductions in force (RIF).

Whenever, in the opinion of the Board, a reduction in staff members becomes necessary this reduction in force policy will be utilized to maintain the highest quality of education for the students of the Little Rock School District while treating all employees of the school district fairly and equitably.  After compiling the list of positions (or employees) to eliminate, care will be taken to analyze whether the reduction in staff members has a disproportionate effect on any one group of protected employees such as racial minorities, women, older workers (age 40 or over), or the disabled.

This policy will be applicable to District employees who are not among those employee groups that are covered by a negotiated labor agreement with the Board of Education. For those employee groups who are covered by a negotiated labor agreement, the terms of the negotiated agreement related to reduction in force will apply. Moreover, positions funded through grant programs such as adult education, Title I or other federally grant programs may be modified or eliminated independent of this policy.

 

I.    DEFINITIONS

A.   Reduction in Force (RIF) means the dismissal of an employee before the end of   a contract term or at the end of a contract term for reasons of financial exigency or program change.

B.   Financial exigency means any decline in the LRSD's financial resources brought on by decline in enrollment, cuts in funding, decline in tax revenues, or any other actions or events that create a need for the LRSD to reduce financial expenditures for personnel.

C.   Program change means any elimination or reorganization of a curriculum offering, program, or school operation due to a lack of student response to particular course offerings, legislative revisions to program funding, or a re-organization or consolidation of two or more individual schools, school programs, areas, departments or divisions. The term also includes a district-wide change in curriculum objectives or a modification/reorganization of staffing patterns. 

D.   Attrition is defined as a position left vacant when an employee voluntarily resigns, retires, or is dismissed from the District.

E.   Seniority is defined as the length of continuous service in a position or the      District.

 

II.    PROVISIONS

A.   A RIF may be implemented in one or more employment areas as determined by the Board for financial exigency or by the Superintendent for a program change(s).  

When a RIF is to be implemented for financial exigency, the Superintendent will assist the Board by providing recommendations regarding the employment areas and positions to be affected. Based on the Superintendent’s recommendations, the Board will determine the employment areas and the number of employees to be affected by a RIF.

B.   To the fullest extent possible, staff reductions will be completed by normal attrition. 

C.   An employee placed on RIF leave may work in another school district or another occupation during the period of RIF leave without affecting rights to recall under this policy.

D.   RIF leave status will not continue beyond two years unless extended by official Board action. 

 

III.    PROCEDURES

A.   Whenever a RIF occurs, reduction of staff members will be made on a district-wide, rather than on a building-by-building basis. Moreover, there are no bumping privileges outside an employee’s position description and classification.

B.   The selection of employees to be recommended for RIF will be made by the Superintendent or his/her designee in the identified areas of employment and on the basis of the criteria and priorities listed below. These criteria are listed in their order of importance:

1.    Part-time employees in identified areas of employment selected for RIF will be released prior to reduction of employees on full-time contracts in the identified areas of employment. 

2.    Certification and/or educational background will be considered in the RIF analysis.

3.    Performance, as reflected by the most recent appraisal records and other written performance information will also guide the selection process for reduction in force. In analyzing the performance information, the Superintendent may also consider disciplinary actions for severe or persistent performance issues.   

If the Superintendent in his or her discretion determines that the documented performance differences between two or more RIF prospects are too insubstantial to rely upon, he or she may proceed to apply criterion four (4).

4.    If seniority of two or more employees in the area of employment selected for RIF are the same, reduction will be accomplished by selecting for retention the employee with the most experience in the District.  

In the event two or more employees have the same number of years of experience in the District, the initial employment acceptance date (month, day, and year) will be used to determine the most senior employee.  If the initial employment acceptance dates of the two or more employees with the same number of years of experience in LRSD and position assignment are the same date, the administration will use the following method of breaking the tie: add the last 5 digits of the social security number and the one with the greater value is retained.

C.   Written notification to staff members affected by reduction in force will be provided as early as possible and in all cases in accordance with the provisions of the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (for employees who hold positions requiring a teaching certificate) and the Arkansas Public School Employee Fair Hearing Act (for employees who hold positions that do not require a teaching license).

D.   A staff member reduced from employment through the provisions of this policy will be considered for other vacant positions for which they apply and are qualified and will be given priority over applicants from outside of the District. Assignments to new jobs will be based on certification, qualifications, experience and skills.

1.    If no vacancies exist for which staff members reduced from employment are qualified or selected, the Superintendent will provide each reduced employee a written notice of the proposed action to include a statement of the reason(s) requiring such action and notice that the employee is entitled to a hearing under the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act or Arkansas Public School Employee Fair Hearing Act when applicable.

2.    RIF leave status will be maintained for a period of one year (unless reemployed sooner by the District). If the reduced employee wishes to remain on RIF leave status for an additional one year period, he or she must notify the LRSD Human Resources Department in writing no later than the one year anniversary date of layoff.

3.    Employees reduced from employment may obtain employment with another school district or in another occupation while remaining available for recall under this policy.  

E.   Employees on approved leaves of absence, other than RIF leave, will be considered for RIF in the same manner as active employees.

F.    Recall lists will be used to identify employees on RIF leave. In the event an employee who is not being considered for RIF wishes to volunteer for RIF leave status, he or she should request RIF status in writing to the LRSD Human Resources Department within five (5) working days of the announced RIF action.

G.   The Superintendent will make a determination to approve a volunteer for RIF based on the volunteer's job responsibilities, training and program(s) affected by the RIF request. If placed on RIF leave status, the volunteer would be subject to all provisions, procedures, recall, and rights of this policy.

 

IV.   RECALL AND RIGHTS

A.   After a RIF has occurred and the need for the reduction in personnel has diminished, employees on RIF leave will be offered employment as positions become available. Recalled employees will be offered employment in the same or substantially similar position they held prior to the RIF before employment is offered to applicants new to the LRSD. When positions are to be filled through the recall process, personnel on RIF leave will be recalled in the reverse order of layoff.  In other words, the employee most recently laid off in a particular employment area will be the first employee recalled for work in the employee's area of responsibility.

B.   The LRSD Human Resources Department will notify the employees being recalled by certified mail.  Recall notices will be sent to the recalled employee’s last known address on file in the LRSD Human Resources Department. Personnel considered for RIF will bear the responsibility of supplying the LRSD with his/her most current address.

C.   The recalled employee must accept the recall offer by replying via certified mail or in person to the Human Resources Department within ten (10) days of the postmark of the recall notification. Rejection of the offer or failure to respond within ten (10) days removes the recalled employee’s right to any further employment consideration under the provisions of this policy.

D.   Failure of a recalled employee to return to work after being recalled will constitute abandonment of employment. Unless the employee presents proof of medical limitation or injury, the recalled employee forfeits any further employment consideration under the provisions of this policy. The District reserves the right to obtain a second opinion from a health care provider of the LRSD’s choice and at the LRSD's expense regarding the recalled employee's ability to perform the duties of the position for which the employee has been recalled.  Where the first and second opinions differ, the LRSD may require the employee to obtain a binding third opinion from a health care provider selected jointly by the employer and employee (and paid for by the LRSD). 

E.   If the recalled employee has secured employment elsewhere, he or she will be allowed a fourteen-day period from the date of the acceptance of recall before being required to report to work.

F.    All fringe benefits which an employee was entitled at the time of RIF leave, including sick leave, personal business days, etc., will be restored to him/her upon returning to full-time employment with the LRSD. No benefits will accrue during RIF leave status except for sick leave as accrued in another school district. However, the employees recalled from RIF leave will be placed on the salary schedule step that he or she would have been on prior to being placed on RIF leave.

G.   When a reduction in force is declared and personnel are placed on RIF status, the Human Resources Department will prepare appropriate recall lists of personnel. These recall lists will include name, service, and job classification areas, and any other information needed to determine recall and rights.

H.   The lists will be maintained in the Human Resources Department for review by the appropriate school officials and the personnel identified for RIF.

I.      A person who is aggrieved may utilize the LRSD’s grievance procedures.

 

 

 

Adopted:  November 17, 2011

 

Cross Reference: Board of Education Policy GBK

                             Administrative Regulation GBK-R