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76-715a. Conversion of certain employees to the unclassified service. (a) The state board of regents, in accordance with the provisions of this section, may authorize any state institution of higher education to convert all classified staff employee positions or any portion thereof in the institution to the unclassified service of state employment. Except as otherwise provided for leave time in K.S.A. 76-715b, and amendments thereto, those classified staff employees whose positions are converted from classified to unclassified status shall retain all health and flexible benefits and leave and retirement benefits provided to them under the state classified employee system. Each institution designated by the board shall develop a plan for a system for administration of all other aspects of employment for these employees, including personnel policies and procedures, and each such system of administration shall be subject to approval by the state board of regents. Such personnel policies and procedures shall include a disciplinary and grievance process which provides for the right to appeal and due process procedures. Development of such plan shall be subject to input from affected classified employees. Implementation of this section shall not cause a salary reduction or layoff of any classified employee. This section shall not be implemented by the state board of regents at any state institution of higher education unless an election has been held for classified staff employees affected by such proposal at such institution and the classified staff employees voting at the election by majority vote approve the conversion of the classified staff employee positions affected by such proposal at that institution to unclassified positions. Any such election held after the effective date of this act shall be preceded by an official announcement providing at least 90 days' notice of the date, time and place of the election. After a vote of approval, the state educational institution shall provide all affected employees with opportunities for input into the development of the plan that is to be presented to the state board of regents.

(b) For the limited purposes of this section, and K.S.A. 74-4925, and amendments thereto, these newly designated unclassified employees shall be referred to as "university support staff" and the university of Kansas medical center shall be considered a state institution of higher education separate from the university of Kansas, Lawrence, and its campuses.

(c) Nothing in this act shall affect the representation rights of collective bargaining organizations that represent employees of a state institution of higher education, nor shall the provisions of this act affect any term or condition of any collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date of this act.

History: L. 2005, ch. 94, § 1; L. 2015, ch. 92, § 10; July 1.

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