Q: I received notification that TASB revised their contract forms for 2019. Are the edits significant enough that we need to update our contract forms for next year?
A: Yes! The revised model contracts incorporate clarification of key contract and addenda provisions recommended as a result of Commissioner of Education and court decisions. The revisions should place districts in a better position to defend challenges.
TASB offers model contracts for probationary and term teachers to all member districts who subscribe to HR services in addition to their general TASB membership. TASB’s 2019 updates to the model contracts are summarized below.
· Representations: Beginning of Contract and During Contract: The revised language now includes specific reference to Policy DH (LOCAL) and 19 Texas Administrative Code section 249.16(c), both of which provide offenses required to be disclosed to the District.
· Duties: Assignment/Reassignment: This provision’s language has been rephrased to clarify the authority of the District to reassign or transfer the employee during the contract term or to provide changes in duties or responsibilities at any time.
· Duties: Supplemental Duty: This provision has been revised to include a definition of supplemental duty, as duty other than the “position” for which the individual is employed and that is identified earlier in the contract (para 1). Additionally, the definition is incorporated throughout the Notice of Assignment of Supplemental Duties form.
· Duties: Dual Assignment: The revisions of this provision provide clarification distinguishing supplemental duty assignment (not a “position” listed in the contract) from dual assignment, which includes both “positions” for which the individual is employed and that are identified earlier in the contract (para 1). This provision is only included in Dual Assignment Term and Probationary Contracts.
· Compensation: Salary: This section has been updated to specify that salary for contracted duties does not include consideration for supplemental duties.
· Other Provisions: Addenda: The “circle one” option to indicate if the contract included addenda has been removed and replaced by blanks to fill in the title of any included addenda.
· Expiration of Offer: This section has been rephrased to state that if the contract is not returned before the specified date, the existing contract expires on its own terms and employment ends with the conclusion of that contract without requiring additional action to terminate or nonrenew by the Board.
· Retire/Rehire Addendum: This addendum no longer references the state minimum salary as the minimum bar for which expenses can be offset. Instead, the text confirms the employee’s understanding that the District may reduce pay to offset expenses resulting from employing a TRS retiree “as appropriate.”
Issuing an employee contract with incorrect or obsolete provisions could bind the District and/or employee to outdated legal obligations and could cause undue confusion. As such, it is critical to update your contract forms and addenda as recommended.
If your District subscribes to the HR Library, you can find a copy of the new model contracts and addenda at www.tasb.org/Services/HR-Services/myTASB.aspx.