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Assembly approves bill exempting high-earning school administrators from collective bargaining

The Assembly passed a collective bargaining bill on Thursday that would impact local government agencies and school districts.

Senate Bill 241, backed by Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, had bipartisan support, passing with a 41-0 vote. The measure, which has already passed the Senate, now needs a signature from Gov. Brian Sandoval to become law.

It takes school administrators out of collective bargaining if they make more than $120,000 a year and also makes principals “at will” employees for the first three years. Principals who are “reassigned” from their jobs are allowed to return to positions they might have held previously in a school district.

The bill also allows government agencies to give employees leave for union work, but requires that the labor organizations pay the costs.

The bill addresses “evergreen” clauses in contracts that extend provisions until a new contract is negotiated. Under the bill, a government agency cannot increase any compensation or benefits until a new contract is approved.

The Assembly also defeated a bill Thursday that would have put in place conditions that allow government agencies to declare a “fiscal emergency” and reopen union contracts for negotiations.

Senate Bill 168 died by a slim 21-20 vote, with four Republicans joining all 17 Democrats to defeat the measure. But the Assembly’s Republican leadership could bring the bill back for reconsideration as early as Friday.

Supporters of SB 168 had argued the ability to reopen contracts could help governments avoid layoffs and service reductions.

Assembly Bill 182, another proposal that would change collective bargaining, remains in the Ways and Means Committee. Its sponsor, Assemblyman Randy Kirner, R-Reno, said he hopes to see it get out of committee later this week or early next week. Kirner said it’s important the bill not duplicate provisions in the other bills.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.

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