School board denies union grievance on RIF

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 09:03 AM.

Copeland argued that the Senate Bill passed in 2011 that put in place the process for considerations during a RIF essentially wiped out that language in the master contract.

“You can not grieve language in a contract that no longer exists,” Copeland said.

And given the dictates from Tallahassee, “We are a little baffled why this grievance even exists.”

Copeland said the district had attempted to negotiate the impacts of the Senate Bill on the master contract after its 2011 passage but the union had countered it was not willing to negotiate issues which were subject to litigation.

Further, Copeland noted that the Senate Bill and its application – specifically impacts on local collective bargaining contracts – had thus far been found constitutional in the courts, though cases remain on appeal.

“In my opinion this board has no other alternative except to dismiss this grievance,” Copeland said.

Powell contended that state law could not change a contract, but under questioning from Costin, a key point, at least for Costin and in turn the board emerged.

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