2018 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 70. Schools
§70-509.7. Impasses - Procedure.

Universal Citation: 70 OK Stat § 70-509.7 (2018)

A procedure for resolving impasses will be developed by the board of education and the representatives of the organization. Said procedure shall include the actions set forth in this section and may include such other actions as are agreed to by both parties. Unless otherwise provided for by law, "days" means calendar days. Time limits set forth herein may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.

A. If negotiations are not successfully concluded by the first day of school, impasse shall exist. At any earlier time, either party may declare impasse. Upon reaching of impasse, the items causing the impasse shall be referred to a three-member fact-finding committee. This committee shall consist of:

1. One member who shall be selected by the representatives of the organization within five (5) days after the reaching of impasse;

2. One member who shall be selected by the local board of education within five (5) days after the reaching of impasse; and

3. One member who shall serve as chairperson of the committee and shall be selected as follows:

a.The State Board of Education shall appoint as fact-finders not less than twenty nor more than thirty persons to be placed on the State Superintendent's list of fact-finders. The appointees must reside in Oklahoma, must be neutral and unbiased and must be knowledgeable in the fields of school operations, school finance, personnel management, dispute resolution and hearing procedures. The appointees shall not currently be elected public officers or employees of a board of education or officers or employees of an organization of education employees. No person who is related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity to an elected public officer, to an employee of the local board of education that is involved in the impasse, or to an employee of an organization of education employees shall be eligible to serve as a fact-finder.

b.An appointee shall serve until such appointee resigns or is removed by the State Board of Education from the State Superintendent's list of fact-finders. An appointee must be removed immediately if he or she becomes an elected public officer or employee of a board of education or an officer or employee of an organization of education employees.

c.Within ten (10) days of being notified that a fact-finder is needed, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee shall provide the names of five potential fact-finders selected at random from the list of appointees who are available to serve as a member and the chairperson of the committee. The parties shall select the fact-finder from the five names within fifteen (15) days after receiving the list of fact-finders.

d.It shall be the responsibility of the State Board of Education to establish rules, regulations, training, hearing procedures, and payment schedules to implement the provisions of this paragraph.

B. Within five (5) days after the selection of the chairperson, the representatives who have been negotiating for the board and for the organization shall meet to exchange written language on each item at impasse. The exchanged documents shall also be furnished by each party to the chairperson and other members of the committee.

C. The chairperson shall convene the committee for fact finding. This committee shall meet with the representatives of both parties. Within twenty (20) days after the chairperson is selected, the committee shall present written recommendations to the local board and to the organization.

D. If either party decides it must reject one or more of the committee's recommendations, said party must, within seven (7) days after the committee has presented its recommendations, request a meeting of the representatives who have been negotiating for the board and for the organization. The parties shall meet within seven (7) days of the request, unless both parties deem it unnecessary. At such meeting, the representatives shall exchange written statements expressing each party's rationale for rejecting each recommendation found unacceptable and shall attempt to clarify any remaining differences. The representatives shall then resume good faith effort to resolve the remaining differences; provided, after fourteen (14) days after the exchange of the written statements, either party may discontinue such effort.

E. The local board shall file a copy of the fact-finding report with the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. If the effort to resolve differences is successful, the parties shall draft a written agreement and present the agreement to both parties for ratification, and such agreement shall also be forwarded to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. If the effort to resolve differences is unsuccessful, the local board of education shall forward to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in writing its final disposition of the negotiations impasse process within thirty (30) days of the effective date of implementation.

Laws 1971, c. 325, § 7; Laws 1986, c. 130, § 4, emerg. eff. April 14, 1986; Laws 1986, c. 293, § 2; Laws 1992, c. 102, § 1, eff. July 1, 1992; Laws 1994, c. 190, § 2, eff. July 1, 1994.

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