The agenda was set Tuesday night for the School Board to pick a direction in the debate over whether to begin offering collective bargaining with public employee unions, but the vote was delayed indefinitely.
The school division’s adopted fiscal year 2023 budget includes $2 million and the creation of 12 staff positions to support the new program should the School Board decide to launch it. The General Assembly last year authorized localities, starting May 1, to begin collective bargaining with employee unions if they choose to do so.
Interim Superintendent Scott A. Ziegler presented three options to the School Board on Tuesday: develop a collective bargaining program, implement a smaller scale meet-and-confer program, or table the matter until a formal request is made by a specific union.
Jeff Morse (Dulles) said his discussions with members of the Loudoun Education Association, the largest group representing school staffers, showed a desire to hold off on action to allow time for more talks.
The School Board is not required to take any action. If a group, following a vote by the majority of its members, submits a formal request, the board would have 120 days to approve or deny the request.
Morse said more input is needed.
“The LEA is not the only voice out there. We all know that. I encourage individual teachers to reach out to me because I find that a single voice is not always an all-encompassing voice,” he said, noting the varied opinions expressed by educators throughout the pandemic response.
Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn) made the motion to table the issue. Only Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) opposed the delay.