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Teachers union ends grievance against CUSD

The grievance that the Claremont Faculty Association (CFA) filed against the Claremont Unified School District on May 6th has been dropped.

CFA decided not to appeal to Interim Superintendent Gloria Johnston earlier this month, ending a month-long grievance process that began when the CUSD board planned to hold a special board study session on the same day the CFA representative council meeting was held on May 10th.

“There was nothing in writing—it was a verbal resolution,” CFA President Joe Tonan said. “They said they were going to do their best to not schedule meetings on days when we have our meetings. When we heard that language, then we were happy at that point.”

Mr. Tonan was joined by fellow CFA bargaining unit member Dave Chamberlain, Dr. Johnston and Human Resources Director Kevin Ward at the June 8th meeting that concluded with the withdrawal of the grievance. Dr. Johnston then publicly announced the 2 sides had reached an agreement during her board report at last Thursday’s CUSD board meeting.

“Every effort will be made to refrain from scheduling board meetings/workshops on the first and second Tuesday of each month, but meetings of the Board of Education are not constrained by the contract, therefore there is no contract violation,” Dr. Johnston said.

Article 2.1.1 of the collective bargaining agreement between CFA and CUSD indicates the district would avoid scheduling meetings after school involving bargaining unit members the first and 2nd Tuesday of each month. The board scheduled a special board study session on May 10th—the same day CFA held its representative council meeting and teachers were in the Village grading papers as part of the Great Claremont Grade-In during Teacher Week.

CFA President Joe Tonan said CFA tried to work out a solution informally with the district prior to the May 10th board study session but the district’s response was that it was not in violation of the contract because bargaining unit members were not required to attend. Mr. Tonan then filed the grievance on May 6th.

“CFA was not treated as a partner in seeking a solution, but we were told that the district was in the right in what they were doing,’ Mr. Tonan told the COURIER last month. “The formal grievance process is the route we must go, and we will see if the district was in the right in scheduling this meeting at this time.”

The May grievance was the only grievance filed by CFA during the 2010-11 school year.

—Landus Rigsby

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