This bill expands collectively bargained benefits to substitute teachers by considering them employees of school district making them eligible for retirement benefits and health benefit plans.
The bill has a retroactive portion which could cause financial obligations for school districts that have not budgeted for the additional cost. Not only could this be costly for school districts, but it could also be extremely hard to track. Healthcare benefits would be impossible to do retroactively so the assumption is that the retroactive clause in Section 2 of the bill will only be applicable to PERS contributions, but again the bill is unclear.
A teacher employed as a substitute teacher for one or more days at a time by the same school district shall be considered an employee of the school district and eligible for retirement benefits as an employee (PERS) and eligible for health benefit plans as an eligible employee. This increases school’s costs and union control.
Substitute teachers often work for multiple districts and each of those districts typically have different collective bargaining contracts with regards to benefits. School districts and local teachers’ unions negotiate many contractual provisions, but one negotiated item is health insurance contribution rates. For example, a district may pay 100% of the benefit cost for fulltime employees and 50% for part-time employees. Those benefits are collectively bargained by the union representatives for the benefit of their members who are employees of the district. Substitute teachers currently are not a part of the collective bargaining units in any of the districts that they may choose to work in. If a substitute works in multiple districts during the year, which collective bargaining agreement applies to the substitute teacher? The bill also states that the substitute teacher, after teaching for one or more days, shall be considered an employee of the district. Are they considered a full-time employee or a part-time employee and of which district and which collective bargaining agreement? Substitute teaches are cheaper and, sometimes, better. They introduce a tiny bit of competition for regular teachers.