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Termination of merit system   

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A merit (civil service) system within a school district may be terminated by one of the following methods:

(a) If the governing board of a school district, or a county board of education, receives a written petition of qualified electors not less in number than 10 percent of the number voting in the last election for a member of the board calling for the termination of the merit (civil service) system and the system has been in operation for not less than five years or has been imposed pursuant to the term of Section 45119 or 45120, the board shall order the county superintendent of schools to place the question of termination of the system on the ballot at the next regular governing board member election, or county board of education member election, or the next primary or general election in a general election year, whichever is the earlier after receipt by the county superintendent of schools.

The statement of purpose of the election shall read:

"Shall the merit (civil service) system for school employees not requiring certification qualifications, as provided for in Article 6 (commencing with Section 45240) of Chapter 5 of Part 25 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code of the State of California, and which has been in operation for at least five years, be terminated by the __________ School District of ___________ County (or counties where appropriate), or by the County Office of Education of _________ County on (date to be specified by board)?"

The petition calling for the election, to be valid, shall contain the statement of purpose for the election as contained in this section.

(b) If the governing board of a school district, or the county board of education, receives a written petition from 40 percent of the classified employees entitled to vote calling for the termination of the merit (civil service) system and the system has been in operation for not less than five years or has been imposed pursuant to the terms of Section 45119 or 45120, the governing board shall conduct an election by secret ballot of its classified personnel to determine whether or not they desire to have the merit system terminated within the district. The ballot shall read: "Shall the merit (civil service) system for classified employees be terminated in the (name of school district, or county office of education) as of (termination date)?"

As used in this subdivision, "classified employees" means all personnel who are a part of the classified service who are appointed in accordance with Section 45272.

In order to be valid, the petition calling for the termination of the merit (civil service) system shall be submitted to the governing board within 90 days after the date that the notice for the circulation of the petition was filed with the governing board. The election shall be held during the regular school year and shall be held no earlier than 45 days and no later than 180 days after the date that the petition was submitted to the governing board.

If the merit system was adopted pursuant to Section 45224.5, classified employees entitled to vote in an election pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to those classified employees who reside in the district.

(c) The governing board shall devise an identification system designed to protect against fraud in the balloting process. In addition, the governing board shall appoint a three-member tabulation committee consisting of one member of the governing board, one member of the personnel commission of the district, and one member who shall be a classified employee of the district. It shall be the responsibility of the tabulation committee to canvass the election ballots and to certify the results of the election to the governing board at the next regular meeting of the governing board following the completion of the tabulation of the election ballots by the committee.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing board shall not be required to provide release time for classified personnel to vote in an election conducted pursuant to subdivision (b). The governing board shall not conduct an election under subdivision (b) more than once in any two-year period.

(e) It shall be unlawful for a public school employer and the exclusive representative of the classified employees of a school district to include the subject of the termination of the merit (classified service) system within the scope of representation.

(f) Members of the classified service shall be provided an adequate and ample opportunity to be informed of the arguments in favor of and in opposition to the termination of the merit (civil service) system prior to the conducting of an election called pursuant to subdivision (b). That opportunity shall include an open forum during which proponents of, and opponents to, the termination of the merit (civil service) system shall be permitted to debate the issue.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 146, Sec. 2.)

Reference:

Education Code 45119

Education Code 45120

Education Code 45224.5

Education Code 45240

Education Code 45272