Labor Relations

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (All day) to Thursday, September 6, 2018 (All day)

Cornhusker Marriott - Lincoln, NE

Labor Relations 2018

This annual joint event brings together School Administrators and School Board Members to provide information on negotiations, legal updates and best practices for labor relations. 

Wednesday, September 5th
12:30 p.m.     Registration Open
1:00 p.m.       The ABCs of Negotiations  with Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford, P.C., L.L.O.
The single biggest part of a school district's budget is personnel costs. Salaries and benefits alone usually represent around 90% of a district's total expenses. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that a district understand the negotiation process and legal requirements in order to ensure that these expenses are reasonable and a good use of taxpayer dollars. In this session, Rex and Justin will walk through the negotiations process and offer practical suggestions heading into the 2018-2019 negotiations timeline.
5:00 p.m.       Memorial Stadium and More Tour
After the Pre-Conference, get pumped up for Husker Football season with a facilities tour. Osborne Athletic Complex (North Stadium) was built in 2006 and includes a beautiful 40' waterfall, Sullivan art mural, video kiosk, Husker Nation Championship Drive donor display, a peek at the Suh Strength Complex, National Championship and Bowl Trophy displays and the Nebraska Heisman Room. Conference championship trophies displayed are also visible from the Lobby.  You will also see the major award winner hallway, Hawks indoor practice facility and tunnel walk onto the field.

Thursday, September 6th
7:00 a.m.       Registration, Continental Breakfast, Exhibits Open
8:30 a.m.       Welcome & Opening Keynote: 
The Relationship Comes First with Jason Lauritsen
Work has been defined in many ways over the years: a contract, a transaction, a value exchange. This led to describing humans as capital and designing systems that treat people like assets to be managed and optimized. To reverse this trend requires that we understand what work is for employees, a relationship, and a critically important one. Research has shown us that employees crave the same things from work that they do from other important relationships in their lives: appreciation, connection, acceptance, communication, and support. In this session, we will explore how designing the employee experience through the lens of a healthy relationship will focus your employee engagement efforts for greater impact. 
9:30 a.m.       Break 
9:45 a.m.       Concurrent Sessions I  
10:45 a.m.     Break 
11:00 a.m.     Concurrent Sessions II 
12:00 p.m.     Luncheon
1:00 p.m.       Concurrent Sessions III
2:00 p.m.       Break
2:15 p.m.       Concurrent Sessions IV
3:15 p.m.       Adjourn

Concurrent Session Topics

Developing Leadership Talent for Schools: Successful Succession Planning for School Leaders – Arbor 1
Eric Weber, Nebraska Association of School Personnel Administrators and Lincoln Public Schools
Effective succession planning for schools involves more than just the replacement of building leaders. It involves a comprehensive employee development system that builds a cadre of talent that is prepared to step into the various leadership roles you have. This session will detail Leadership LPS, Lincoln Public Schools’ leadership development program for building leaders.  We will outline the learning and activities that participants engage in throughout the 18-month leadership development program.

Professional Boundaries with students:  How to Handle the Digital Communication Gap – Arbor 2
Kevin Chick, Nebraska Association of School Personnel Administrators and Millard Public Schools
Maintaining professional boundaries with students is becoming more and more challenging. When teachers and students text one another or communicate via social media, boundaries can become blurred.  School Districts need to address this issue in Policy and Rule, so there is clear rules for staff regarding interacting with students in the digital age.  This session will explore how one Nebraska school district is addressing this issue.

Job Descriptions and Employee Contracts – Hawthorn
Kelley Baker and Josh Schauer, Perry Law Firm
Employment contracts and job descriptions are of increasing value in clarifying duties and avoiding problems with school employees.  Josh Schauer and Kelley Baker will discuss the essential elements you should have in both.

Conflicts, Contracts and Nepotism- School Boards, School Administrators and the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act – Olive Branch
Conflicts, Contracts and Campaigns, Attachment 1, Attachment 2, Attachment 3, Attachment 4
Frank Daley, Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission
This session will explore state law applicable to school officials in the areas of conflicts of interest, interest in a contract, the hiring of family members and the use of public resources. It will include a discussion of:
     1.     Conflicts of Interest- What a conflict is and how should it be addressed; 
     2.     Interest in a contract with the school district- Special requirements when a school board member is doing business with the school district; 
     3.     Supervising and hiring immediate family members- Special steps to be taken when an immediate family member of a school board member is an employee of the district;
     4.     Prohibited uses of school resources and funds;
     5.     Use of public resources in connection with ballot questions;
     6.     Participation of school officials and school employees in political campaigns.

HR 101 – What is Essential– Arbor 1
Renee Hyde, NASPA and Papillion La Vista Community Schools
Administrators and Board Members will get a practical overview of things that can trip you up and cost your district big bucks.  This session will offer simple ideas for staying out of hot water so you can keep the focus on learning and students.

Using Effective Communications to Survive Labor Relations – Arbor 2
Annette Eyman, Nebraska School Public Relations Association
Are you enduring a labor relations issue? Use effective communications to survive! Do you know how to communicate your message to your target audience(s)? Do you have a plan to get in front of a crisis? This presentation will walk participants step-by-step through developing messages for a variety of issues, figuring out who your audiences is and how to best communicate with them, no matter what the issue at hand is. This presentation will cover ideas on how to communicate your message and survive…no win the PR battle in any crisis situation. Participants will leave this session with an in-depth knowledge of how to develop a message and frame your message to win your audience.

A fresh start! – Hawthorn
Justin Knight and Rex Schultze, Perry Law Firm
Now is the time to begin observation and evaluation of staff, both probationary and permanent teachers and administrators, including a review of improvement plans in place from the prior school year.  Learning by students should begin from day one of the new school year and teachers need help to get started on the right path.  Early assessment also begins the process of documenting efforts to monitor and improve instruction, and if a teacher’s performance is deficient, the opportunity to note deficiencies, provide suggestions for improvement, resources to assist in improvement and follow-up evaluation as required by statute (79-828) and NDE Rule 10.  We will discuss the statutory non-renewal, termination and cancelation process as the end result of such a proactive approach to teacher competency in planning and delivering instruction and managing the classroom.  In conjunction thereto, we will discuss the other elements of “just cause” that related to the personal and professional conduct of certificated staff.  And finally, we will cover those circumstances where a teacher asserts a disability of some sort as a reason for underperformance in an attempt to protect their position.

Educator Health Alliance Update – Olive Branch
Gregory Long - Educators Health Alliance
Cortney Ray – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
The Educators Health Alliance will discuss the 2018-2019 Rate Renewal while introducing the advantages of healthcare working for you. BCBS and the EHA would like to hold a listening session for our member during the presentation for members to give ideas moving forward in health insurance plan design and optional benefits.

School Finance: A Better Understanding – Arbor 1
Bryce Wilson and Jen Utemark, Nebraska Department of Education
From basic State Aid concepts and projections, to the use of school district funds and budgeting and ESSA reporting. This session will address a variety of issues related to school finance.

Sorry Ma’am, That’s Classified – Arbor 2
Bobby Truhe and Tim Malm, KSB School Law
Certificated staff contracts are similar by design, while classified contracts can vary quite a bit from job to job.  Yet we often see administrators approach classified staff issues as if classified employees fall under the same statutes and policies as certificated staff.  This one-size-fits-all approach leads to needless hurdles and headaches when the administration evaluates, reprimands, or terminates a classified employee.  We will walk through common classified contract issues and address what should, and more importantly what should not, be included in a classified contract.

Employee Hiring and Screening: Complying with the EEOC – Hawthorn
Jim Gessford and Greg Perry, Perry Law Firm
When hiring staff districts must comply with the laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  With an increase in lawsuits against employers for violating federal and state laws when conducting employment background checks, it is important school districts are aware of and adhering to these laws.  When can you run a background check? Do you need written consent? How do you assure you are complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act?  Jim and Greg will answer these questions and more making sure you can create a hiring and screening plan that adheres to the law.

The Teacher Vacancy Conversation Continues: We’re All in This Together – Olive Branch
Dr. Sara Skretta, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Dr. Sheryl Feinstein, University of Nebraska-Kearney
Teacher vacancy is a statewide challenge for Nebraska schools resulting in classrooms without teachers.  The Teacher Vacancy Initiative is moving forward with UNK, UNL, school districts, and Nebraska communities partnering to bring certified teachers to students in every classroom across the state.  This session will provide an overview of the initiative, current progress, and identify next steps to ensure all Nebraska classrooms have qualified, certified teachers.

2:15 – 3:15
Integrated, Intuitive, and Sophisticated – Arbor 1
Craig Caples and Jesse Sierks, Nebraska Association of School Boards
Come see how over half the school districts in the state have simplified the collection and management of bargaining data, and have gained access to a real-time array calculation and comparison system.  Through the release of several new software updates a school can better manage all aspects of the bargaining process and generate teacher and administrator contracts with a few clicks of a button.

Setting the Table: How to Prepare for Negotiations – Arbor 2
Bobby Truhe and Tim Malm, KSB School Law
We know it’s a cliche, but there’s no other way to say it: you have to begin at the beginning.  The first step of negotiations is knowing where you’re at in your array financially, and what your negotiated agreement actually says.  If your negotiated agreement has a provision that is unlawful, it needs to be addressed right away.  The legality of your contract is also a great way to broach contract changes with your local association.  It’s not always about who gets what; it’s also about updating and amending an outdated and unlawful agreement.  Once the agreement is in fighting shape we can begin to address issues of leave, dock days, duty days, and all the rest.  We will walk through some outdated agreement provisions that we’ve run into, as well as some best practices to build a negotiated agreement.

Nebraska School Law Cases – Hawthorn
Derek Aldridge and Haleigh Carlson, Perry Law Firm
Come to learn from past school law cases here in Nebraska.  Derek and Haleigh will walk attendees through relevant case law and provide you with a breakdown to help prevent your district from going down the same path.

2019 Legislation Updates for Pupil Transportation – Olive Branch
Mick Anderson, Erin Howard - Nebraska Safety Center
The Nebraska Safety Center and transportation experts will provide an update on pupil transportation changes with LB 347 being passed and the transition into the new procedures that will take effect January 1, 2019.

Lodging Information
Cornhusker Marriott
333 S. 13th Street - Lincoln, NE 68508
Reservations: (866) 706-7706
Mention: NCSA Labor Relation Conference 2018
Rate: $105 + tax
Book by August 17, 2018



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