When revenue shortfalls occur for many districts, layoffs will be necessary.
Teacher and administrator layoff procedures are addressed in ORS 342.934 and in collective bargaining agreements.
No statutory requirements exist for layoff of classified staff. Most classified contracts contain layoff procedures. Absent contract provisions, look at board policy.
Licensed staff layoff
There is no notice requirement in the statute for licensed staff layoff. Many collective bargaining agreements, however, contain notice requirements. These requirements range from “notice as soon as practicable” to a “90 calendar day” notice before layoffs can be made.
For licensed staff, the district must consider seniority and licensure and may address competence and merit.
There is a statutory definition of competence, but many agreements provide different definitions.
If your contract provides for merit distinctions, the district needs to devise a system for evaluating merit.
Personnel files need to be reviewed and notice given to staff requesting licensure and endorsement updates due by a specific date. Developing a matrix for licensed staff reductions is helpful when considering these multiple factors.
Recall rights are for 27 months by statute and specific recall procedures are determined by collective bargaining agreement or board policy.
Classified staff layoff
Seniority and qualifications are usually the basis for classified staff layoff, but it is important to examine if your contract uses district seniority, classification seniority or both.
Often, classified contracts allow for “bumping” as well which can create a domino effect and prolong the layoff process.
Contractual definitions of layoff typically include both position eliminations as well as hour reductions so examine your contract language
Recall procedures are controlled by the collective bargaining agreement. Recall rights typically range from 12 months to 27 months.
When in bargaining, pay special attention to your layoff/recall procedures. Examine if they make sense from a practical perspective as well as from the perspective of the ability of the district to maintain program integrity. These procedures are often ignored during bargaining as they are rarely used, but they become very significant in times of economic crisis.