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Nevada City school board to meet with teachers about retirement

Jennifer Terman
Staff Writer

Nevada City School District teachers will voice their grievances about a part of their employee contract they believe is being underserved during Tuesday’s school board meeting. The teachers will turn out to insist that the Nevada City School District board of trustees honor the collective bargaining agreement and district retirees.

The special board meeting/ grievance hearing will begin at 4 p.m. in Deer Creek Elementary School’s multipurpose room at 805 Lindley Ave., Nevada City.

The faculty association, which represents educators in the school district, will be presenting its grievance.

“We believe the district wrongfully denied teachers the full early retirement incentive per the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties. The retirement incentive enables the district to rehire newer teachers and ultimately provides more money for the district to put into programs for our students,” said association president Joy Haggart.

“The district must follow their contractual agreements.”

According to contract article XVI, the school district and faculty association negotiated a contract that provides an early retirement incentive to teachers.

The incentive is required to be cost savings or cost neutral. The contract allows teachers the opportunity to retire early and, in turn, the district is able to rehire experienced teachers who were previously laid off and apply additional savings in salary to district programs for students.

The association feels the district violated the contract and the Educational Employment Relations Act by denying the early retirement incentive option to select employees without legally renegotiating the terms of the contract.

Under the Educational Employment Relations Act, the district is obligated to uphold the provisions of the contract and legally negotiate any changes it seeks prior to unilaterally changing the terms of the contract. Two grievances have been filed for contract violations, and the California Teachers Association, on NCFA’s behalf, has filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against the district for the EERA violation.

The money spent defending the district’s contract violation and unilateral change to the parties’ contract could be better spent, teachers said.

The faculty association challenged the district hiring of a hearing officer to preside over the Level III grievance presentation to the board of trustees.

The district has hired one attorney to defend the district’s contract violation at the Level III hearings and hired a second attorney to serve as the presiding hearing officer. The use of a hearing officer for Level III grievances is inconsistent with the contract and with the past practice established by the parties, the teachers said.

“The teachers are hoping the district will honor the contract,” Haggart said.

The district could not be reached as of press time.

For more information, contact Joy Haggart at jhaggartncfa@gmail.com or 530-776-5604.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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