At the School Board meeting of November 20, 2019, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III seeks to strengthen employee representation by amending School Board policy 6332 to include union representation on selection committees for health and flexible benefits.
School Board Agenda Item H-3 which he proffered was supported and co-sponsored by Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, Vice-Chair Dr. Martin Karp, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Dr. Larry Feldman, Ms. Lubby Navarro, and Ms. Maria Teresa Rojas during the committee meeting held on November 13, 2019.
With respect to selection of healthcare, fringe benefits, and related risk management professional services, the Board, through Policy 6332 and with contracts that exceed $50,000.00 annually, has embraced this ethos and practice of inclusion through an ad hoc insurance committee and, with items involving collective bargaining, the Fringe Benefits Council as far back as 2005, according to Board records. During these periods, stakeholders were able to assist in conducting reviews on related criteria regarding proposed healthcare, fringe benefits, and risk management related contracts. Union representatives were provided a platform to provide, if not a vote, a voice on behalf of their members.
Research on leadership and organizational dynamics has resoundingly concluded that when employees and related stakeholders are involved in making decisions, they gain a professional and personal stake in the organization and its overall success.
“This is especially critical when such decisions directly impact the employee’s work duties, compensation, and/or overall role and responsibility in the organization,” Dr. Gallon said.
In making decisions regarding healthcare, fringe benefits, and risk management related issues, the Board has historically engaged and empowered the aforementioned stakeholders in the process.
This item seeks to direct the Superintendent to initiate rulemaking that ensures the formal representation and participation, in the form of both voice and vote, of union membership in matters that involve the selection of healthcare, fringe benefits, and related risk management professional services for all contracts that exceed $50,000.00 annually.
“Doing this will engender a spirit of mutual respect, cooperation, transparency, and shared commitment to the District. Not doing so has proven to yield the opposite,” Dr. Gallon said.
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