Bill S7899-2013

Relates to contracts for the transportation of school children

Relates to contracts for the transportation of school children; provides the board of education of a school district in a city with a population of a million or more shall include in such contracts provisions for the retention or preference in hiring of employees previously or currently working for employers that have been or are parties to such contracts and provisions for the preservation of levels of wages, health, and retirement benefits and seniority for employees of such employers; provides alternatively for the chancellor of the city school district of NYC to promulgate regulations requiring the retention or preferences in hiring of employees previously or currently performing work for employers that have been or are parties to such contracts, and provisions for the preservation of levels of wages, health and retirement benefits and seniority for employees of such employers.

Details

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  • Jun 17, 2014: REFERRED TO RULES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7899

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the education law, in relation to contracts for the transportation of school children

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one of this bill amends paragraph a of subdivision 14 of section 305 of the Education Law to require that either (i) the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) include in its contracts for school bus transportation for children in grades kindergarten through 12 provisions for the retention or preference in hiring and the preservation of levels of wages, health and retirement benefits and seniority of employees who perform or performed work for employers party to such contracts, in connection with such contracts; or (ii) the Chancellor of the NYC DOE promulgate regulations requiring the protections described above.

Section two would require that this bill take effect immediately.

PURPOSE:

This proposal will allow NYC DOE to protect the experienced workforce in the kindergarten through 12 sector, whose employers' contracts had included EPPs until recently, from facing layoffs and drastic wage reductions.

JUSTIFICATION:.

For three decades beginning in 1979, NYC DOE contracts (including contract extensions) for the transportation of children in grades kindergarten through 12 included employee protection provisions (EPPs) requiring school transportation contractors, among other things, to give priority in hiring to employees who became unemployed because of their employers' loss of NYC DOE bus contract work and to pay such employees the same wages and benefits they had received prior to becoming unemployed.

Following the 2011 decision by the New York State Court of Appeals in L&M Bus Corp., et al., v. the New York City Department of Education, et al., NYC DOE did not include EPPs or similar provisions regarding job retention or compensation stability in solicitations for its school bus contracts for children in grades kindergarten through 12, which had included such provisions in its kindergarten through 12 bus contracts for over 30 years. (In contrast, bus contracts for children in pre-kindergarten and Early Intervention have never included such protections.) This proposal would require NYC DOE to include provisions relating to the retention or preference in hiring, the preservation of levels of wages, health and retirement benefits, and seniority of employees who perform or performed work for employers party to NYC DOE's contracts for

school bus transportation for children in grades kindergarten through 12 in solicitations for such contracts. In the alternative, the bill requires the NYC DOE Chancellor to promulgate regulations requiring the same protections. This proposal does not apply to transportation contracts for pre kindergarten and Early Intervention children.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New legislation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7899 IN SENATE June 17, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to contracts for the transportation of school children THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph a of subdivision 14 of section 305 of the educa- tion law, as amended by chapter 273 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: a. All contracts for the transportation of school children, all contracts to maintain school buses owned or leased by a school district that are used for the transportation of school children, all contracts for mobile instructional units, and all contracts to provide, maintain and operate cafeteria or restaurant service by a private food service management company shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner, who may disapprove a proposed contract if, in his opinion, the best interests of the district will be promoted thereby. Except as provided in paragraph e of this subdivision, all such contracts involving an annual expenditure in excess of the amount specified for purchase contracts in the bidding requirements of the general municipal law shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, which responsibility shall be determined by the board of education or the trustee of a district, with power hereby vested in the commissioner to reject any or all bids if, in his opinion, the best interests of the district will be promoted thereby and, upon such rejection of all bids, the commissioner shall order the board of education or trustee of the district to seek, obtain and consider new proposals. PROVIDED THAT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SUBDIVISION: (I) THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATED IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE SHALL INCLUDE IN CONTRACTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN, WHETHER AWARDED THROUGH COMPETITIVE BIDDING OR THROUGH EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH E OF THIS SUBDIVISION, PROVISIONS FOR THE RETENTION OR PREFERENCE IN HIRING OF EMPLOYEES PREVIOUSLY OR CURRENTLY PERFORMING WORK FOR EMPLOY-
ERS THAT HAVE BEEN OR ARE PARTIES TO SUCH CONTRACTS, IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONTRACTS, AND PROVISIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF LEVELS OF WAGES, HEALTH AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND SENIORITY FOR EMPLOYEES OF SUCH EMPLOYERS, IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONTRACTS; OR (II) THE CHANCELLOR OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK SHALL PROMULGATE REGU- LATIONS REQUIRING THE RETENTION OR PREFERENCE IN HIRING OF EMPLOYEES PREVIOUSLY OR CURRENTLY PERFORMING WORK FOR EMPLOYERS THAT HAVE BEEN OR ARE PARTIES TO SUCH CONTRACTS, IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONTRACTS, AND PROVISIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF LEVELS OF WAGES, HEALTH AND RETIRE- MENT BENEFITS AND SENIORITY FOR EMPLOYEES OF SUCH EMPLOYERS, IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONTRACTS. All proposals for such transportation, maintenance, mobile instructional units, or cafeteria and restaurant service shall be in such form as the commissioner may prescribe. Adver- tisement for bids shall be published in a newspaper or newspapers desig- nated by the board of education or trustee of the district having gener- al circulation within the district for such purpose. Such advertisement shall contain a statement of the time when and place where all bids received pursuant to such advertisement will be publicly opened and read either by the school authorities or by a person or persons designated by them. All bids received shall be publicly opened and read at the time and place so specified. At least five days shall elapse between the first publication of such advertisement and the date so specified for the opening and reading of bids. The requirement for competitive bidding shall not apply to an award of a contract for the transportation of pupils or a contract for mobile instructional units, if such award is based on an evaluation of proposals in response to a request for proposals pursuant to paragraph e of this subdivision. The requirement for competitive bidding shall not apply to annual, biennial, or trienni- al extensions of a contract nor shall the requirement for competitive bidding apply to quadrennial or quinquennial year extensions of a contract involving transportation of pupils, maintenance of school buses or mobile instructional units secured either through competitive bidding or through evaluation of proposals in response to a request for proposals pursuant to paragraph e of this subdivision, when such exten- sions (1) are made by the board of education or the trustee of a district, under rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioner, and, (2) do not extend the original contract period beyond five years from the date cafeteria and restaurant service commenced thereunder and in the case of contracts for the transportation of pupils, for the main- tenance of school buses or for mobile instructional units, that such contracts may be extended, except that power is hereby vested in the commissioner, in addition to his existing statutory authority to approve or disapprove transportation or maintenance contracts, (i) to reject any extension of a contract beyond the initial term thereof if he finds that amount to be paid by the district to the contractor in any year of such proposed extension fails to reflect any decrease in the regional consum- er price index for the N.Y., N.Y.-Northeastern, N.J. area, based upon the index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) during the preceding twelve month period; and (ii) to reject any extension of a contract after ten years from the date transportation or maintenance service commenced thereunder, or mobile instructional units were first provided, if in his opinion, the best interests of the district will be promoted thereby. Upon such rejection of any proposed extension, the commissioner may order the board of education or trustee of the district to seek, obtain and consider bids pursuant to the provisions of this section. The board of education or the trustee of a school district electing to extend a
contract as provided herein, may, in its discretion, increase the amount to be paid in each year of the contract extension by an amount not to exceed the regional consumer price index increase for the N.Y., N.Y.-Northeastern, N.J. area, based upon the index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), during the preceding twelve month period, provided it has been satisfactorily established by the contractor that there has been at least an equivalent increase in the amount of his cost of opera- tion, during the period of the contract. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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