Second Trimble Grievance Could Go To Arbitration

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A Trimble Local Teachers Association’s grievance with regard to the former boys basketball coach has been denied for a second time.

In the second grievance filed concerning Curt Moore, the TLTA claims that the school board or its agents violated the collective bargaining agreement when anonymous letters, reports and/or communications were included in Moore’s personnel file. It also states that the agreement was violated when documents were put in Moore’s file, but not reviewed by Moore and the principal. The grievance addresses a section of the union contract with regard to the disposal of documents in a working file.

That grievance also states that by doing so the board violated as many as three sections of the contract between the teachers association and the board. The union is seeking to have all anonymous documents, and any other documents deemed to violate the contract, removed from Moore’s personnel file.

The first grievance in the matter was filed when Moore — a teacher in the union — was passed up for the job and the board hired Howie Caldwell instead — who is not a member of the union.

The Trimble Local Board of Education heard the grievance in executive session during last week’s board meeting and filed its response on Monday. The grievance had previously been denied by Supt. Kim Jones.

In the three paragraph response signed by Board President Erica North, the Board denies three specific claims of the grievance, including one that involves state law superseding the local union contract.

According to the response, the documents alleged in the grievance to have been in violation of the contract are not part of Moore’s personnel file (which is covered by the union contract) and are instead in a working file held by the superintendent (not covered by the contract).

Regarding the allegation that the portion of the contract regarding the destruction of working files at the end of each year, the Board states that Ohio Revised Code supersedes the local labor agreement.

“You (TLTA) are correct these files were not destroyed since the labor contract language violates state law and is therefore, superseded by state law,” reads a portion of the response. Ohio Revised Code also dictates that the information be kept in a separate working file and made available to the public.

“These records cannot be destroyed by the terms of a labor contract when the labor contract is in conflict with state law. In addition, these records are available to the public.”
The response concludes, “If this matter goes to arbitration, it is the position of the Board that an arbitrator is without authority to rule that labor contract language supersedes state law.”