Fairfax County School Board Amends State and Federal Legislative Agenda
The Fairfax County School Board has voted to amend language in its state and federal legislative agenda in support of the right of Fairfax County Public Schools employees to engage in collective bargaining. The Board voted on the measure at its business meeting on February 20.
The move by the School Board follows the introduction of legislation currently before the Virginia General Assembly that would end the state law that forbids public service employees from collectively negotiating salaries, benefits, or working conditions. Virginia is one of only three states that currently prohibits collective bargaining for public employees.
Language in the state and federal legislative agenda now reads as follows: “The FCSB supports granting authority to local school boards to recognize the right of employees to enter into collectively bargained agreements that value and balance the needs of employees with the educational mission of the school division and that preserves the constitutionally protected supervisory authority of the local school board.”
“We are now officially on the record supporting the right of FCPS employees to collectively bargain,” said Karl Frisch, Providence District representative. “It was the right thing to do, not only for teachers and other staff but for students as well. We know that when we invest in teachers, we are investing in student success. As one of Virginia’s largest employers, we are sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers in Richmond that teachers and staff deserve a seat at the table.”
School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders stated, “I commend Board members Karl Frisch and Karen Keys-Gamarra for bringing forward this long overdue amendment to our legislative agenda. We also appreciate the advocacy of our employee associations for this change. The amended language is contained in a section of the legislative agenda that also expresses Board support for communicating with employees effectively, prohibiting discrimination in employment and education, and amending Virginia Code to ensure that restorative justice is available when employees have been falsely accused of a crime. Collective bargaining allows for greater collaboration and greater opportunities for consensus building on working conditions, salaries, and benefits—elements that are reflected in the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate.”
For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.