Monday, May 28, 2012

Southbridge Schools Lose Another Arbitration Case


Following the report by The O’Zone regarding the arbitration decision in the case of Jonathan Jacobson, the results of another case have come to our attention.

On September 29, 2011, Timothy Bornstein, Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association rendered a decision in AAA Case 11 390 01501 10, A Salary Schedule Grievance between the Southbridge Education Association and the Southbridge Public Schools. 

The core of the dispute related to the contract provisions for the second and third years of the 2009-2012 teachers contract.

The Southbridge Education Association (SEA) maintained that in years two and three of the contract that they were to receive a 1% salary increase while having one professional development day deleted from their schedule with no reduction in pay.

The school administration maintained that it had been agreed that in years two and three there would be a 1% salary increase and that one professional development day would be deleted from their schedule and that the teachers would not be paid for that day.


The decision of the arbitrator was as follows:

“The agreed-upon salary schedules for the second and third years of the collective bargaining agreement shall be shall be the same as the base salary for the first year of the 2009-2012 contract, increased by one percent.
In the second and third years of the 2009-2012 contract, one August professional development day shall be deleted from the contract, without a reduction in salary.”

In essence the arbitrator upheld the position of the SEA. It is estimated that this decision carries a cost in the vicinity of $100,000 in years two and three of the contract.

Subsequently the Southbridge School Committee requested that the SEA reject the arbitration decision.

In a strongly worded response dated October 24, 2011, SEA President David Williams took the administration to task. That letter said in part, “Stating that without us agreeing to refuse compensation would mean a layoff of our members goes beyond contempt. It was the school committee that put the District in this position! Throughout this whole process, the School Committee refused all our attempts to cooperate and made none of your own. It is only after the arbitrator’s ruling that you are in anyway concerned about money being spent. How much did you spend in lawyer fees fighting us while we were offering a way for the District to keep all the compensation?  The words that describe your actions should not be used in professional communications.”

The copy of the decision was provided to The O’Zone following opinions to the releasing authority by both the American Arbitration Association and the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association that such reports became public documents ten days after their issuance.

20 comments:

  1. Does anybody know how much the school dept. has spent in legal fees this year?

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    Replies
    1. I would speculate...at least three teachers. Maybe more with the foolish (approximately 400.00 an hour) Kim Rosak charges just to take the heat off of BB's wrongs. It's pretty sad to see Scotty vote against feeding children during a summer program and instead, spend the money on legal fees.

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    2. aka Jester

      K. Rosak’s Legal Services may include a monthly retainer fee as well.

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    3. With her batting average Rosak couldn't even play for the Red Sox.

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  2. HA ! If you think all these legal fees are bad just wait for the case that is still going on 7 years later to finish up. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Good Stewarts of our tax dollars ?
    I DON'T THINK SO!!!
    It's about time the SEA flexed their muscles. If anything I blame them for trying to get along and not disclosing this nonsense years ago.

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  3. If you're a teacher, we're screwed. Stewarts??? Try stewards moron.

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  4. How much more are we suppose to take? The SC says it needs to cut 734K from the budget!!! Now they have to pay out for yet a decision against them!!! I guess our kids will go to the new Middle/High School and teach themselves... I know this election I won't be voting the 2 incumbents..

    Blown Away

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  5. You are acting or presenting this as something new, this decision was known last fall.

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    Replies
    1. I must have missed that. Please tell me where it was previously reported.

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    2. My goodness, those crickets are loud.

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    3. Check the School Committee Minutes or with some of your SCA friends because they got it in their paychecks....

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    4. Anonymous 4:03

      I think your suggestion to check the minutes to see the resolution of this arbitration award is a good one. I have looked, but I haven't found it. I am not saying it isn't there, and I certainly could have missed it. Could you please direct me to the minutes that state the resolution? Again, I'm not doubting you, but I simply can't find it. If you have the date, that would be a big help. Thank you.

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    5. I checked the SC minutes for Sept thru Dec 2011 and didn't see it. I also don't have any way of checking teachers paychecks. Anyway, I would hardly regard the latter as making the matter widely known.

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    6. Whether or not the resolution reached by the arbitrator was paid by the School Committee is not the issue.

      Someone connected with the Committee or the school system certainly would know that the money was paid, but we in the general public do not know.

      It raises the question as to how many more of these there may be that we don't know about. And how much is the taxpayer paying out because of clearly displayed hubris on the part of some School Committee members?

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  6. Anonymous 634
    Makes no difference if it is something new or old. Bottom line is that it was unknown to the general public. The Southbridge School Committee does not want this public information released. They do not want us to know, don't you get it.

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    Replies
    1. How many years has it been since Executive Session minutes have been voted on so that they could be public?

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  7. At $400 an hour, assuming they use the lawyer for more than an hour, they could have fed the entire district's kids for a whole day; Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and maybe even a midnight snack.

    But of course, instead of "catering to the bottom", or even having human decency to pay poor teachers a pitiful 1% increase, the school committee's "quad-fecta" of clown-car-riding, bloviating, drivel-sniveling, ass-kissing turds would rather pay a lawyer, only to look like complete idiots who probably won't even get reelected. Great going. Pathetic.

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  8. The high school teachers should ban together a take a vote of no-confidence for BB.

    alex

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  9. Well I was an employee of the southbridge "school system" but not a teacher. However I was "let go" & told I didn't need to be given a reason after 4 years of loyalty
    Well I would like u all to know I am disgusted in the "school system" and more legal fees on there end are to come. So to all of you that think Eric and Terry are the solution are soooooo wrong!!!!!

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  10. As a former employee of the southbridge "schools". I advise ALL Parents REALLY look in to what happens in the super intendants office!! You are looked upon as a joke! If you have any complaints well they just don't want to be herd!!! You threaten to call the papers but never do so you are NOT taken seriously! You leave messages for the "business mgr" & they are not returned! This is because I have been on the inside and THEY DON'T CARE what you have to say!!! when I tell you don't be fooled THEY DON'T CARE!!!!!

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