CAT Tracks for January 10, 2001
An arbitration hearing was held November 21, 2000 concerning the involuntary transfer of two Cairo High School teachers to Cairo Junior High School on the last day of the 1999-2000 School Year.
As explained in previous editions of CAT Tracks, the administration of Cairo School District Number One took a position that IF UPHELD would have gutted Section III of the Contractual Agreement. You would have lost your right of voluntary transfer--to claim a new or vacated position desired by you. You would have lost your protections against involuntary transfer to another building. These rights resulted from years of negotiation and two strikes. The CSD #1 adminstration chose to ignore the clear provisions of Section 3.2, Section 3.3, Section 3.4 and Section 3.8. IF UPHELD, the Board would have returned to "the good ol' days"--the days when they could do with you as they wished--and did! The Association challenged this arbitrary action by the Board of Education.
The Association under the guidance of IEA Region 2 UniServ Director Jim Tammen went to the arbitration hearing fully prepared to argue the logic and clarity of the contract language in question. However, when the arbitrator and representatives of both sides assembled at the Central Office on November 21st at 9:00 a.m., the attorney for the Board of Education made an offer to settle the case without a hearing--an agreement that would be reduced to writing by the arbitrator, issued as his finding in the case, and monitored by him for enforcement. The Association listened to the terms of the offer and agreed to a settlement.
The terms of this agreement are as follows:
In short, the District "threw in the towel" and conceded that everything that it had done was in violation of the Contractual Agreement! The arbitration ruling strongly confirms the Association's interpretation of Section III of the Contractual Agreement and rejects the actions of the Board. This does NOT come as a surprise to Association representatives...the Board's position defied all logic and reason. NOW, an impartial arbitrator has added his authority to OUR interpretation. AND, under the terms of the ruling, the arbitrator will monitor the enforcement of the agreement and intervene if there are future violations!
Hopefully, this decision will convince the Cairo Board of Education and its agents to read the Contractual Agreement BEFORE taking action, follow the clear dictates of the mutually agreed upon language, and quit wasting the District's "scarce" money and time on cleaning up the aftermess!