School Board amends employment policy

By LOUIE DIAZ
editor@sbnewspaper.com

On Tuesday, June 22, the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees made changes to the hiring policy and discussed the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year, during a special board meeting.
The school board discussed changes to the DC (LOCAL) policy which deals with employment practices. The change to the policy gives the school board final authority for the employment of contractual and noncontractual employees. Originally, the board had final authority regarding the selection of only contractual employees and the superintendent had final authority to employ and dismiss noncontractual employees on an at-will basis.
Board president Ramiro Moreno, brought the item to the agenda.
“There are some positions that I would like out of common courtesy, that these appointments or these selections need to be shared with us [the school board] when we go discuss personal issues in executive session,” Moreno said.
Trustee Orlando Lopez questioned how the board will hold the superintendent accountable if the policy is changed.
“My whole point is to build the morale of the school district in a positive manner and hold the superintendent accountable, but if we are going to take away all that power from the superintendent then it’s not going to do us any good,” Orlando Lopez said.
Trustee Rudy Corona asked if the amended policy would interfere with an employee’s ability to file grievances.
“I don’t believe there is anything in the statute allowing the board to delegate this authority or not that would interfere with the grievance process,” answered SBCISD attorney Steven Weller.
Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman said that level I and II grievances can be rendered meaningless if the board unanimously votes to terminate an employee.
“The supervisor nor the superintendent can reverse the action of the board so it may as well be accelerated to level III,” Carman said.
A motion was made to amend the policy DC (LOCAL) by Trustee Janie Lopez and seconded by Trustee Oscar Medrano. The board voted 4-3 with ayes from Moreno, Janie Lopez, Medrano, and Mario Silva. The three nays came from Orlando Lopez, Corona, and Ariel Cruz.

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