Vote No Warrant #4! Part I: School Board Fails To Adequately Disclose Costs Of The “Evergreen Clause” in New Teacher’s Contract…Violates Statute?????

ZBA PUZZLEThe teacher’s contract that we are being asked to approve will have budgetary implications in FY 2021-2022. The statute requires that those costs be adequately explained. They have not been explained nor have they even been disclosed. Now let’s begin…

All Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) by Statute RSA 273-A must adequately disclose the financial terms (cost items) of the agreement.

The NH Supreme Court; Appeal Sanborn Regional School Board, 133 N.H. 513 (1990) stated that voters need to be adequately informed of the financial terms of the CBA by the language of the warrant article or by other means.

In 2008 RSA 273-A:12, VII was adopted. This RSA provides that every new CBA shall now automatically be deemed to remain in effect following its expiration while the parties negotiate a new agreement. The term for such a provision is “evergreen clause.”

That brings us now to the 2020-2021 Teacher’s CBA, Article III Section D page 4;

“Bargaining Unit Members hired for employment before July 1, 2018 may select the Appendix B salary schedule beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. (emphasis added) The intent to move to the Appendix B salary schedule must be communicated to the Office of the Superintendent by November 15, 2020. Bargaining Unit Members selecting the Appendix B salary schedule must meet the requisite requirements as outlined in Appendix B for movement on the salary schedule. The decision to move to Appendix B salary schedule is irrevocable.”

Clearly, this one year contract for 2020-2021 incurs costs for 2021-2022.  If this contract is approved, it becomes the new “evergreen clause” contract. Then if the subsequent contract to be approved one year from now is defeated, this 2020-2021 contract becomes the pay scale for FY 2021-2022.

I specifically asked how many teachers and at what step and track pay level, could possibly make this switch and the board could not answer. There was lengthy discussion about this element of the contract and no detail explanation was given.

The voters here in Henniker are being asked to appropriate funds for salaries in 2021-2022, for teachers who make this switch to the new pay scale and the costs have never been explained nor estimated. Is this how you want your Tax $$$’s managed???

Case on point, including a step and track pay scale: “In Appeal of Alton School District, 140 N.H. 303, 309 (1995), a section of the CBA provided that a pay plan with periodic step increases based on experience would continue in effect after expiration of the agreement (an “evergreen clause”). The Supreme Court held that the provision was unenforceable against the school district because, under Sanborn, the cost of the evergreen clause had not been adequately disclosed to the voters.”


Warrant article #4 mentions only impacts for the FY 2020-2021. As you can see, the is no mention in the Warrant Article about the real cost for FY 2021-2022.

VOTE NO on Warrant #4…it may not meet statutory requirements???? You draw your own conclusions.

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

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