House of Delegates to vote on education personnel bill Tuesday

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House of Delegates to vote on education personnel bill Tuesday
By Alex Thomas, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates will vote on a bill Tuesday that would change how state colleges and universities handle personnel decisions.

House Bill 2542 would give higher education institutions more flexibility in hiring and firing certain employees, as well as more control over salary rates.

The House discussed the bill Monday, with supporters saying the bill would help institutions better deal with budget problems.

Opponents of the bill pushed for an amendment Monday that would have protected the employees’ right to recall, meaning if a position were to open at a university, they would be contacted about the possibility of returning to the position.

“They are getting lower wages in the private sector, and one of the things they have is this limited right to recall,” Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia). “This has been in the law for decades.”

West Virginia University has come out in support of the bill, saying the changes empower universities in making university decisions.

House Minority Whip Mike Caputo (D-Marion) said he found it hard to believe WVU is in support of the bill.

“I find it mean-spirited,” Caputo said.

Caputo and Fleischauer joined with Minority Whip Michael Ferro (D-Marshall) and Delegate Rick Moye (D-Raleigh) in sponsoring an amendment to restore language to protect recall rights, but the amendment failed by a vote of 54 to 43.

If the House passes the bill, it will go to the Senate.