Friday, July 27, 2012

Labor Arbitration in the News

School District seeks to set aside award reinstating teacher accused of using improper physical force

The Kewaskum, Wisconsin School District is seeking to set aside an arbitrator’s award reinstating a special education teacher who had been terminated for allegedly using improper force with students. School District asks court to uphold teacher's firing. The District claims that the Arbitrator failed to accord credence to student testimony unless it was corroborated by independent adult witnesses and that the award “represents deliberate indifference to the likelihood that more students will be deprived of the full benefit of educational programs to which they are entitled.” Arbitrator Stanley Michelstetter’s award can be found here.

Termination of teacher for improper contact with student upheld

The Pensacola News Journal reports on an award upholding the termination of an Escambia, FL teacher for improperly texting a student Teachers texting students: Escambia case raises questions, concerns. Arbitrator Jeanne Charles Wood upheld the termination, finding that Grievant’s texting of the student, which extended over a period of several days and included texts at various times through the day and into the evening, demonstrated “repeatedly exercised poor judgment” and that the escalation of personal contact was “sufficient to give the Employer grave concern as to whether the Grievant can be trusted in the school system” The Arbitrator concluded that the Employer has a duty to protect the children in its care and “placing the Grievant back in the school system would be a breach of that duty.” The full text of Arbitrator Wood’s award can be found here.

Arbitrator orders apology as remedy

Arbitrator Jonathan Monat has ordered the USPS District Manager to apologize to employees affected by the bullying and intimidation of a former supervisor. Arbitrator Monat found that the conduct violated the Joint Statement on Violence and Behavior in the Workplace and that LA District Management had failed for an extended period of time to address the problem. As a remedy, the Arbitrator ordered the LA District Manager to “issue a written apology to the employees in the Redondo Beach Post Office stating that it failed to act…. This apology shall acknowledge the feelings and concerns of the Redondo Beach employees and state that the District Manager will act proactively…” in the future. The Arbitrator also ordered the District Manager or his high level designee to personally apologize to the employees in the office. The text of the award can be found here.

NYC unsuccessful in efforts to overturn school closing award.

SchoolBookreports that a judge has refused to overturn Arbitrator Buchheit’s award concerning New York City’s efforts to close and reopen certain schools it believed were underperforming. Judge Backs Union in Turnaround Ruling. The Judge concluded that the Arbitrator acted within his authority under the contract. The City indicated it intends to appeal the ruling. The arbitrator’s original decision is discussed here.

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