Grievances Made Public
Email from the School Department’s Lawyer Joe McNeil to Molly Walsh of the Burlington Free Press…
From: Joseph McNeil
Date: Tue, May 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM
Subject: FW: Response to documents request
Cc: Jeanne Collins, Sara Jane Mahan, Bob Abbey, DBoulanger@VTNEA, Joseph McNeil, Susan Gilfillan
Good afternoon Molly. This is to advise on behalf of the Burlington School District that the records you have requested, grievances filed by the Burlington Education Association, Inc. under its collective bargaining agreement with the District since March 1, 2012, do not fall within any of the exemptions specified in Vermont’s Access to Public Documents law. They will therefore be made available per your request. Please do not take this response as the expression of our belief that grievance records are always documents that must be disclosed on request. Much will depend on the precise nature of each grievance. However, we do believe that no exemption would be reasonably applicable to this batch. We consequently will enclose both the grievance as filed and the District’s response thereto. We note that one of these grievances is being moved to binding arbitration under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association. Nothing in this response should be considered as applicable to documents produced by either party while the matter is being considered by the appointed arbitrator.
We have scanned and are including in this email the grievances that were filed and the District’s answer where there has been one, There are official answers to the grievance that regards the English/PE positions at BHS and to grievance 2018 which is answered by letter dated May 14, 2012 Grievance 2014 related to fire alarm testing during the February break was resolved on the basis that teachers were not expected to be at the work site at that time and the alarm testing was mandatory per law; Grievance 2015 ( assignment of 9th grade teachers) was resolved by discussion at the building level and not processed thereafter. Grievance 2016 is still pending and no official District response has yet been communicated to the BEA. Grievance 2017, alleged violation of Section 14.2 re displacement of PE teacher, was resolved on the basis of the grievant being placed in a PE/Health position created in the FY 2013 budget, but official documentation of the settlement is still in progress. Best. Joe