Union Grievance Concerns Hiring Of Basketball Coach

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The Trimble Local Teachers Association is seeking to have Curtis Moore hired as the varsity boys basketball coach, according to a grievance report filed on May 30 by TLTA President Christine Snoddy.

Moore was not rehired as the coach following the 2013-14 season, with the Trimble Local School Board instead opting to hire Howie Caldwell for the position.

The grievance form states that the Board has violated, misinterpreted and/or misapplied the entire collective bargaining agreement.

The agreement states, “Supplemental duties shall be offered first to qualified, certified staff members. If no qualified, certificated staff member applies after the position has been posted according to this contract, the position may be offered to someone outside the bargaining unit according to the Ohio Revised Code. At the time of supplemental postings all job-related qualifications for each supplemental shall be posted.”

The grievance is alleged to have occurred when the board passed over Moore for the coaching position and instead hired Caldwell who is outside the bargaining unit. TLTA states in the grievance that Moore is a qualified and certified staff member for the position.

In accordance with the contract between the board and TLTA, the grievance was originally submitted to building principal Matt Curtis on May 30. Curtis responded that same day denying the grievance.

The grievance was then submitted to Supt. Kim Jones. Jones responded on June 10, denying the grievance.

In her response to the grievance, Jones cited portions of the Ohio Revised Code which gives the Board the exclusive right to make the decision concerning original appointments. A supplemental contract is an original appointment each year. It also gives the Board the exclusive right to evaluate and hire employees, with the superintendent making the recommendation on employment.

“When deciding how to fill a position upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the board determines whether candidates are qualified. When an existing employee has applied for a supplemental contract, the Board will consider his past performance if available,” wrote Jones.

Jones went on to state in the document, “I considered Curtis Moore’s performance and did not consider him qualified, and therefore recommended Howie Caldwell for the position. The Board of Education acted upon my recommendation, and concurred that Curtis Moore was not qualified for the position based upon past performance.”

“TLTA must base its grievance upon a specific contract section(s) in believed violated; a grievance cannot be based upon the general contract without siting a specific section, and there is no authority to reserve the right to amend a grievance. Your grievance is considered upon the section you cited as violated, which is 9.05(F),” Jones concluded.

The grievance was brought before the board in executive session during the regular meeting on June 17. The board has until Tuesday to respond to the grievance.

Moore had been employed as the boys basketball coach since the 2009-10 season. He had served as the girls varsity coach and the reserve boys coach prior to that time.

Questions of Moore’s rehiring as the boys basketball coach began to surface as early as 2011 when the district received complains of the coach’s conduct, according to Moore’s personnel record. Specific complaints cited the alleged use of inappropriate language and anger issues. Moore was required to complete an online course in response to the complaints, which he did following the 2011 season. Moore was then brought back for the 2011-12 season.

Additional complaints were received through the next season as some parents called for his resignation and asked he not be rehired. Moore was instead assigned performance objectives, which included showing respect to parents and providing positive coaching. Issues continued to be reported the following two years, which included complaints regarding negativity and non-enforcement of practice rules.