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The Public Schools Amendment Act (Code of Conduct for School Trustees)

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S.M. 2012, c. 23

Bill 21, 1st Session, 40th Legislature

The Public Schools Amendment Act (Code of Conduct for School Trustees)

(Assented to June 14, 2012)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. P250 amended

1           The Public Schools Act is amended by this Act.

2           The following is added after section 35:

TRUSTEE CODE OF CONDUCT

Code of conduct

35.1(1)     A school board must establish a code of conduct that applies to trustees.

Content

35.1(2)     A code of conduct must, at a minimum,

(a) require a trustee to

(i) act with integrity and in a manner that maintains the dignity of the office,

(ii) respect others who may have differing opinions, and

(iii) keep in confidence any personal or confidential information obtained in his or her capacity as a trustee and not disclose the information except when required by law or authorized by the school board to do so; and

(b) address any matter or incorporate any provision that is required to be addressed or included under a regulation made under section 35.4.

Enforcement of code of conduct

35.2(1)     If a school board determines that a trustee has breached the code of conduct that applies to the trustee, the board may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

1.

Censuring the trustee.

2.

Barring the trustee from attending all or part of a meeting of the school board or a committee of the school board.

3.

Suspending the trustee from the school board, including suspending all the trustee's rights, duties and privileges as a member of the school board, for up to three months.

Motion re sanction

35.2(2)     A motion to sanction a trustee is subject to the following rules:

1.

The motion may be debated at a board meeting that is closed to the public, but must be voted on in public.

2.

To be approved, a motion to impose a sanction under item 2 or 3 of subsection (1) requires an affirmative vote of 2/3 of all the members of the school board.

Sanctioned member not considered to be absent

35.2(3)     When a sanction has been imposed under item 2 or 3 of subsection (1), it is considered to be an absence authorized by the school board.

Effect on indemnity

35.2(4)     For certainty, in a by-law passed under subsection 56(1) a board may specify that the annual indemnity payable under that provision may be reduced as a result of a trustee being sanctioned under item 3 of subsection (1).

Appeal to adjudicator

35.3(1)     In accordance with the regulations, a trustee who is sanctioned under item 2 or 3 of subsection 35.2(1) may appeal to a single adjudicator appointed by the minister.

Appeal must be made within 10 days

35.3(2)     A trustee who wishes to appeal a sanction must provide written notice to the minister within 10 days of the day the sanction was imposed.

Power of adjudicator

35.3(3)     An adjudicator who hears an appeal under this section may vary or set aside the sanction imposed on a trustee, as the adjudicator sees fit.

Costs

35.3(4)     The costs of an adjudication must be paid by the school division. If authorized by the adjudicator, the school division may recover some or all of the costs from the trustee.

Regulations

35.4        The minister may make regulations

(a) governing codes of conduct that apply to trustees, including

(i) prescribing matters to be addressed by the codes,

(ii) prescribing provisions that are to be part of the codes, and

(iii) respecting the process to be followed by a school board in determining if a trustee has breached the board's code of conduct;

(b) respecting the appointment of an adjudicator for the purpose of section 35.3 and the conduct of an appeal heard by the adjudicator.

Special application: breach of confidentiality

35.5        For the purpose of subsections 39.7(1) and (5), the provisions of a trustee code of conduct respecting a trustee's requirement to keep in confidence any personal or confidential information obtained in his or her capacity as a trustee and not disclose the information except when required by law or authorized by the school board to do so are deemed to be a provision of this Act.

3           The following centred heading is added before section 36:

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Coming into force

4           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.