ACPS logo: 3 lines in red, green and blue that mimic pages of a book above Albemarle County Public Schools text


(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia)—“This is indeed historic,” said Albemarle County School Board Chair Judy Le, Rivanna District Representative, following a unanimous vote at yesterday evening’s school board meeting to approve a resolution that will allow Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) employees to pursue collective bargaining through a set of very specific procedures.

“I am grateful every single day for everything that our teachers do for our students on a daily basis,” Allison Spillman, the At-Large Representative, said. “I’m really excited that our board, the AEA, and our teachers could come to this point and that we’re finally here after a lot of hard work.”

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly amended Virginia Code § 40.1-57.2, repealing the prohibition against collective bargaining for school board employees and granting school boards the authority to recognize any organized employee associations if they choose to do so.

In May of 2022, the Albemarle Education Association (AEA) sought certification as the collective bargaining representative of ACPS employees, but the school board at the time voted against the measure. At the time, the board felt that the state legislation did not provide enough guidance on how the process of entering a collective bargaining agreement as a school board would work.

Since February of 2023, the School Board Subcommittee on Collective Bargaining and the AEA have met 13 times to discuss the contours of a collective bargaining resolution. The resolution, presented at the March 28, 2024, school board meeting, was approved on April 11, 2024, by a 7-0 vote.

“It’s been an honor to be a part of this process,” Dr. Rebecca Berlin, White Hall District Representative, said. “I truly appreciate both sides of the table were able to come together and reach across the aisle and really, truly negotiate to agree on what is best for teachers.”

The resolution creates two possible bargaining units within ACPS: one for licensed instructional staff and the other for education support professionals, or classified staff. If a sufficient number of employees in either or both of those bargaining units request representation by a union, then the school board will convene a secret ballot election, to be administered by a neutral third party known as a Labor Relations Neutral. A union elected in this manner would then have authority to negotiate contracts with the school board covering the wages, benefits, and working conditions of represented employees. This type of contract, called a “collective bargaining agreement,” typically lasts for several years and commonly contains a grievance-arbitration process.

A copy of the full resolution is available on the School Board web page, here: Albemarle County School Board Resolution Providing for Collective Bargaining.

CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-249-8379