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IN THE MATTER OF:
NESHAMINY FEDERATION OF
TEACHERS AND Re: In-Service Day AAA Case No. 14 390 996uAVH
NESHAMINY SCHOOL DISTRICf
OPINION AND AWARD OF ARBITRATOR
Hearing Date: January 31, 2012 Record Closed: April
Arbitrator: Thomas G. McConnell Jr.
Appearances: For the Union: Marc L. Gelman, Esq. For the District: Ellis H. Katz, Esq.
PROCEDURAL This is a grievance arbitration Teachers (Federation)
proceeding involving the Neshaminy Federation of A hearing was
and the Neshaminy School District (District).
held on January 31, 2012, at which time the parties were given a full opportunity to
present their cases. The parties then filed briefs and the record was declared closed on April 10, 2012.
The parties were able to stipulate to the issues in this case: Whether the District violated the collective bargaining agreement (eBA) in the manner in which it conducted
PSSA training on March 2, 2011? If not, what shall the remedy be? FACTUAL BACKGROUND Ml) Federation PROFFERED EVIDENCE
Testimony of Kevin Knowles Kevin Knowles, a retired teacher and a past President of the Federation, provided detailed testimony concerning the history of in-service days in the District. Mr.
Knowles testified that, at the beginning of his tenure with the District, there were 1 or 2 in-service days. The agenda for such days was determined by the District administration. Mr. Knowles testified that, in the mid 1990ts, the Federation came close to
striking, and that the reality of such a possibility prompted the parties to work together more cooperatively.
Of most concern here, this prompted a joint desire to get more
input from the Federation on in-service days, to make them more productive, interesting, and efficient. According to Mr. Knowles' testimony, the current process of
having one District in-service day, where the District determined the agenda. one Building in-service day, where the staff determined District/Building in-service day, was established. the agenda, and one split
As part of the negotiations for the 2002-2008 CBA, the parties decided to include the following letter as
to the CBA:
The purpose of this letter is to memorialize the existing practice with regard to the utilization of the current in-service days provided by the 1997-2002 collective bargaining agreement as well as describe the utilization of the additional in-service day provided by the terms of the new 2002-2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement, We agree that this practice shall continue for the duration of the 2002-2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement. With regard to the existing in-service days, we agreed that one of those in-service days shall be utilized as a 'trade-off day by which the certified staff member elects to attend a district sponsored workshop during the summer or elementary classroom teacher elects to conduct parent/teacher conferences in the evening in exchange for being released on the day before Thanksgiving. One of the remaining days shall be utilized as a site-based building day in which a committee of the certified staff determines the appropriate use or uses of that particular day in their particular building. An additional in-service day is being added as of July 1, 2002 We agree that this new day shall be utilized by the certified staff in one of two fashions=either as another 'trade-off day in which certified staff will attend a district sponsored workshop in the summer in exchange for an additional release day to be determined or as an additional site-based building day, The election of which option to utilize is to be made by the certified staff member. Federation Exhibit 1. Mr. Knowles testified that the first sentence of the letter addresses the then existing practice of having one District in-service day, one Building in-service day, and one split day. Mr. Knowles testified that, historically, the agenda for Building time was established by the staff, but that the administration was certainly entitled to input. Mr.
Knowles testified that he does not recall instances where there was a dispute, but that
had there been a dispute, he is certain that such a dispute would have been worked out in the environment the Superintendent that existed. Mr. Knowles testified that he and Dr, Gary Bowman, at that time, had an excellent rapport and were ready to facilitate
should any dispute have arisen. Mr. Knowles was recalled prior to the close of the Federation's case. Mr. Knowles
testified that, in relation to Article 10-7.3 of the CBA, the language was included in the first District-Federation CBAin 1975. Mr. Knowles testified that, in his opinion, the
purpose of the language was to address any committee which contained a mix of District representatives and Federation representatives.
Mr. Knowles testified that this would
.include the in-service committee at issue here. Mr. Knowles testified that, in relation to the fact that Article 10-7.3 provides that all recommendations of a committee are subject
to the approval of the District, it is true that the District can reject recommendations.
Mr. Knowles testified that, in that event, nothing could be done, as in his opinion the
District would be unable to convene a committee with only administrators on it. On
redirect, Mr. Knowles testified that Article 10-7.3, while giving the District the right to reject recommendations, does not give the District the right to unilaterally implement Mr. Knowles
whatever it wishes in relation to the area the committee addressed.
testified that the "equal voice" language was placed in Article 10.7.3 to ensure that everyone would work cooperatively and that neither side would have veto power. The idea was to foster consensus. Testimony of Kerry Hammon Kerry Hammon is a Biology Teacher. the Federation. Ms. Hammon is the Recording Secretary of
Ms. Hammon is the Teacher Leader at Neshaminy High School and
with staff in relation to Building in-service days. Mr. Hammon also
serves as a liaison with the administration. Teachers receive Act 48 credit for attendance at in-service days. Ms. Hammon
testified that, typically, the Building day is in the fall, often falling on election day. The district in-service day is typically in the spring. The split day is typically held in
or March .
. Ms. Hammon testified that the process for the Building in-service day, and the ... Building portion of the split day, calls for her to put out a survey to the staff about a month before the day in question. and provides it to the principal. encountered Ms. Hammon then typically puts together a schedule
Prior to matter at issue here, Ms. Hammon never schedule, beyond occasionally getting
any difficulty with the proposed
more detail from a staff member on a particular topic. Ms. Hammon testified that there were times in the past where the District approached the Federation and requested the opportunity to use Building in-service
time for a District activity. The Federation as Federation Federation
granted such requests. Examples are entered
Exhibit 4 (PSSA proctor training on Building Day, but made optional); during Building time);
Exhibit 5 (principal asked to put on gang presentation
Exhibit 6 (principal asked to use Building time for faculty meeting); and
Federation Exhibit 7 (PSSA proctor training on building in-service time, but made one of options available for staff at a given time). Ms. Hammon testified that, prior to the incident at issue here, PSSS proctor training had been conducted at department meetings. Federations meetings after school, or at faculty Ms. Hammon also
Exhibits 8-10 support this testimony,
testified on cross that PSSA proctor training was also conducted in the past during District in-service time. In relation to the 2010-2011 school year, a split in-service day was scheduled for March 2, 2011. As per practice, Ms. Hammon conducted the staff survey. On January 26, 2011, Dr. McGee wrote an email to Ms. Hammon, indicating that n[ wJe have to do PSSA Proctoring Training on March 2 too. Let's schedule 45 minutes at the start of the Building Time with no only (sic) sessions planned at that time." Federation Exhibit 16. In an email dated February a.faorr. Ms. Hammon responded as follows: Rob, I just re-read the email you sent me below. When I originally read it, I missed the statement 'at the start of the Building time' for the PSSA proctor training. In the past, we have scheduled that training during the District portion of the day, not the building, as it interferes with the limited afternoon time teachers have to design sessions to address curriculum updates, final exam revisions, etc. It certainly can be offered as one option during BUIlding time, however.
In an email sent later that afternoon, Dr. McGee responded as follows:
Please see me Thanks
Ms. Hammons met with Dr. McGee on Monday, February 7,
Dr. McGee expressed frustration
At that time,
that Hammons appeared to be telling him what to do. such as using faculty meetings or District
Ms. Hammons suggested other alternatives, time during in-service.
Dr. McGee responded that such options would not work and Ms. Hammon
that the PSSA proctor training would be held during building time.
testified that Dr. McGee never offered to make up for the lost time by making it up to the staff at a later time. Ms. Hammons indicated at the close of the meeting that she wanted to discuss the matter with Geeta Heble, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and
that Dr. McGee indicated that would be fine. Dr. McGee also said words to the effect of you "do what you have to do,
which .Ms. Hammons took to mean the Federation
file a grievance if the union felt his conduct violated the CBA. Ms. Hammon subsequently spoke to Ms. Heble. Ms. Hammon testified that Ms.
Beble's initial reaction was to state that she agreed that the building time was "precious time.
Ms. Heble also indicated that she would speak with Dr. McGee and see if the in the Building
PSSA proctor training could be made optional, as opposed to mandatory,
part of March
In a subsequent
emailv Ms. Heble stated that Dr. on the Building
McGee had decided that the PSSA proctor training would be mandatory part of the agenda. Ms. Hammon subsequently had a conversation
with Dr. McGee in a school
hallway, at which time she related that Ms. Heble was sympathetic to the Federation's concerns. to his time. Following that point, Dr. McGee and Ms. Hammon went forward with the procedures for scheduling the in-service day for March 2, 2011. The PSSA proctor Dr. McGee responded that Ms. Heble was not being sympathetic in relation
training was scheduled for 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and was held on that date. The District later provided the Federation with approximately an hour to an hour and a half
on March 15, 2011, to make up for the loss of time on March
This was not an in-
service day. Ms. Hammon testified that Dr. McGee did not include her in the discussions on that issue.
Ms. Hammon acknowledged on cross that, although in Federation Exhibit 7, the District sought and received the Federation's consent to utilize building time for PSSA
proctor training, but only on an optional basis, at that time the state did not require PSSA proctor training. Ms. Hammon acknowledged on cross that the last District in-
service day could not have been used for PSSA proctor training, as that date post-dated the PSSA testing dates. Ms. Hammon testified on cross that, during the 2010-2011 school year, in other District buildings PSSA proctor training either occurred through use of Building time, or at faculty meetings. Ms. Hammon acknowledged that there may in
have been an instance in the past where the District ceded time to the Federation relation to a District in -service day.
On redirect, Ms. Hammon testified that attendance for PSSA proctor training was not 100%, and still required having those absent to be trained on another date prior to March 15, 2011. On redirect, Ms. Hammon testified that the PSSA testing is always in March, and the District's full in-sen ice day always in May, but in the past the District was always able to get in the PSSA proctor training without mandatory time during Building in-service. Ms. Hammon acknowledged
on cross that there are approximately
faculty members at Neshaminy High School and the vast majority of them need to
receive PSSA proctor training. District Case-in-Chief Testimony of Robert McGee Robert McGee is the principal of Neshaminy High School. Dr. McGee testified that PSSA testing is mandated in order to have districts comply with "No Child Left Behind" requirements. There are set procedures for such testing, along with security
the Commonwealth for such testing.
has required PSSA
proctor training as part of the procedures
Dr. McGee testified that, during the 2010-2011 school year, PSSA testing was scheduled. for March 2011. Dr. McGee testified that such testing is not done on the same days every year. The state usually announces such dates approximately in advance. Though much of the PSSA proctor training remains the same each year, Dr. McGee testified that there are adjustments powerpoint presentation each year as well. Dr. McGee prepares a takes approximately
and the presentation
vast majority of the 2.00 plus staff members at Neshaminy High School must be trained. In discussing the split in-service day which took place on March 2, 2011, Dr. McGee testified. that the District portion of that day is dictated by the District. Dr.
McGee testified that, some point during the 2010-2011 school year, the cabinet advised him that the District agenda had been completed. Dr. McGee testified that, when he
queried bow he was supposed to do the PSSA proctor training, he was told to do it during "building time." Dr. McGee testified that, while theoretically such training could
have been done in the fall, the Department
of Education only releases the revised
proctor training manual in the fall. Dr. McGee testified that, from a practical viewpoint, it also makes sense to do the training close to the PSSA testing, so that the training is "fresh in people's minds." Dr. McGee testified that, in relation to the Building agenda for the split in-service
day, he had a conversation with Ms. Hammon in the hallway in which he advised her to
get things going. Dr. McGee testified that he forgot to mention the need to do PSSA proctor training during building time during that conversation. Dr. McGee then wrote the January 26; 2011 email, quoted above, and received Ms. Hammon's response, also quoted above. Dr. McGee testified that he took Ms.
Hammon's response as a "no" to doing PSSA proctor training during building time. Dr. McGee then sent the email asking Ms. Hammon to see him, and a meeting took place.
Dr~McGee testified that, during the meeting, he told Ms. Hammon that the need
to use building time for PSSA proctor training was a result of a directive he was getting, and that tithe other options are not viable for me." In relation to the options; Dr. McGee testified that the next scheduled faculty meeting was already full, since some District representatives were going to be there to talk about District priorities. Dr, McGee or
testified that staff members do miss faculty meetings due to coaching responsibilities other reasons, and thus there would still have been a need to have a follow-up session for having those staff members read the powerpoint presentation.
As for Ms. Hammon's
idea of making the PSSA proctor training an option, Dr. McGee testified that this result in staff members opting out -- the number of which could not be predicted= which
would still require training for absentees at a later time. Dr. McGee testified that staff members opting out would then haveto attend a session at an assistant principal's office to review the written power point. Dr. McGee testified that something is always lost when a live presentation department is missed. Finally, Dr. McGee testified that he understood that
meetings were optional, again creating the same issues.
Ultimately, Dr. McGee did include the PSSA proctor training as a mandatory session scheduled from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m, on March 2, 2011. The training actually took about thirty minutes. Dr. McGee testified that he has direct accountability procedures procedures in relation to security
for PSSA testing, since he signs an affidavit attesting that security are being followed, including the required proctor training.
Dr. McGee testified that, in relation to the situation he was presented with, he ' , and Ms. Hammon could not reach an agreement, and thus someone had to make a
decision so that the required training could take place. Dr. McGee testified that he then made the decision. Dr. McGee testified that, after the in-service day of March 2, 2011, he was speaking with an Assistant Principal about the PSSA testing schedule, and a determination afternoons. was made to offer the staff an hour and a halfback on one of the Historically, that afternoon was used to provide training on how to assess projects. The training on assessment of senior graduation projects
was made an option for new teachers.
Dr. McGee testified that most of the other District buildings had PSSA proctor training during building time of the in-service day. On cross, Dr. McGee testified that the administration has discussed having a
"non-live" PSSA proctor training through use of written materials, but McGee again testified that he believes "something is lost" through the loss of a live presentation. On cross, Dr. McGee acknowledged that, during the 2009-2010 school year, the PSSA proctor training was conducted during a faculty meeting. This resulted in having
to do two more sessions due to absentees.
Absentees occur no matter what format is
used. Thus, there were absentees for the March 2., 2011 proctor training session, Dr. McGee was Assistant Principal during the 2007-2008 school year and 20082:009 school
year. During the 2007-2008 school year, the PSSU proctoring took place day. During the 2008-2009 school
during the District half of the split staff development
year, Dr. McGee was not certain how the PSSA proctor training took place at the high school. There have been times in the past where PSSA proctor training took place during faculty meetings and department meetings. through Ms.
Dr. McGee testified that there was an occasion where the Federation, Hammon, agreed to permit use of building time for a faculty meeting.
believes that this occurred during the 2011-2012 school year. Normally, such meetings are held after school. Dr. McGee testified that he asked Ms. Hammon in that instance
whether that would work. Dr. McGee testified that, in relation to the email asking Ms. Hammon to "please see me," he now wishes he had simply gone to talk to Hammon about the issue. Dr. McGee testified that, in relation to Ms. Hamon's email of February 4,2011, he did feel that Hammon was telling what to do. Dr. McGee testified that, at the meeting with Ms. Hammon on February 7, 2011, he did not propose any other alternatives to Hammon's suggestion of making the proctor training an option on the building in-service agenda. Dr. McGee testified that, he did not have precise recollection of the conversation which occurred with Ms. Hammon at the February 7, 2011 meeting, and that he would defer to her recollection on that. Dr. McGee testified that a cabinet member did tell him that the proctor training had to be during building time. Dr. McGee testified that he is fairly certain that this was
Dr. Heble, but that it could have been another member of the cabinet. Dr. McGee testified that he did receive a call from Ms. Geble, apparently after she had spoken with Ms. Hammon, and that Geble did suggest some other options. Dr. McGee testified that
such options would have called for make-up sessions due to absentees, e.g. use of faculty meeting which was already booked with a District priority presentation. Dr. McGee
testified on cross that he had choices to do it at another time, but chose to do it during building time .. Dr. McGee testified that the decision to provide the staff with additional time on March 15, 2011 was made without involvement of Ms. Hammon. Dr. McGee testified that most other buildings did the PSSA proctor training time during building time. On cross, Dr. McGee acknowledged that he did not know if the Federation ceded that time upon request.
OF THE PARTIES (IN BRIEF) as follows:
The Federation's position may be summarized
The undisputed evidence shows that since at least 1977~"teachers' say" has been the accepted practice within the District for in-service days as they concern the full Building Day and the Teacher's half-day. The practice was first reduced to writing in 2001 (Federation Exhibit 1) and has been followed without exception since that time. Dr. McGee's conduct in this matter, in barring Ms. Hammon's participation on the issue of District involvement on a Building day, violated Article 10-18 of the CBA in relation to teacher involvement in "developing and planning" activities during in-service days. The District's conduct herein also infringes upon the contract language concerning committees, as Article 10-7.3 guarantees that employees on a District committee "shall have voice and status equal with other members of this committee in the developments of its recommendations." By refusing to even consider the recommendations and concerns voiced by Ms. Hammon, Dr. McGee disregarded the District's contractual obligations.
Contrary to the District's assertions, the Federation is not asserting that it has veto power, but rather that the committees work, as designed, through negotiation and agreement. It is not disputed that, in multiple instances, spanning a number of years, the parties have mutually agreed to "swap" time should the need arise. It is important to note, however, that never before has one party infringed upon the other's time without explicit consent. Lest it be suggested otherwise, conducting PSSA proctor training on March 2, 2011 during the building time was not the only option available to the administration. The Federation reminded Dr. McGee of this fact, and he chose to ignore it. Infact, Ms .:Hammon suggested the option of making the PSSA proctor training an option during the Building Day, an option flatly rejected by McGee even though the same option had been provided in the past. It must also be noted that there was no emergency situation here, and in fact the District was well aware of the PSSA testing dates for approximately two years. The fact is that there were other avenues available to the District, options which had been used in prior years. Dr. McGee's testimony seeking to convince the neutral that such options were not available is simply not credible. The grievance should be sustained and the requested remedy granted. The District's position may be summarized as follows:
The Federation argues that the District cannot place any activity on the "building" half of the in-service Day without its consent. The provisions of the CEA relied upon by the Federation, however, do not support this contention. Article 10-18 provides that the Administration shall solicit suggestions from and involve professional employees in developing and planning activities on inservice days, but there is nothing in that section which indicates that the Federation controls the agenda if there is a dispute. Dr. McGee provided credible testimony as to why the administration found it necessary to use the March 2, 2011 building portion of in-service to do the PSSA proctor training. Though the training was scheduled for forty-five minutes that day, it actually only took thirty minutes. Additionally, Dr. McGee testified that one hour and fifteen minutes was placed on an in-service day on March 15, 2011 to "make-up" for the time assigned for PSSA proctor training on March 2, 2011.
"" The exchange Hammon had matter is that gives her veto
of emails between Dr. McGee and Ms. Hammon establish that input on the issue of PSSA proctor training. The real issue in this she disagreed with Dr. McGee's final decision. Nothing in the CBA power.
The Federation points to prior years when the District and the staff agreed with each other on the scheduling of PSSA training. The fact that at other times or other means of scheduling this training has occurred in the past years does not require a conclusion that the Federation has veto power over scheduling of this mandatory training. Nor do the agreements reached in past years constitute a past practice or an obligation under Section 11-1 of the CBA.
As to the Federation's arguinent that Article 10-7.3 applies,in
relation to a Building in-service Committee, in actuality the last sentence of that provision states that it "is understood that all committee recommendations are subject to the approval of the District." Not DIUY the Federation's position that it has veto is power belied by Article 10-7-3, Article 1-2 of the eBA expressly provide that "the Board has final authority in matters of educational policy and development .i.." Finally, the March 2, 2001 MOD does not address the half and half in-service day. Thus, the MOD has no application here. The grievance should be denied. DISCUSSION There is no dispute that, prior to the events giving rise to this grievance, the
District had a practice of scheduling three in-service days. I have also found as fact that these in-service days included an District in-service day, whereby the District determines determined the agenda; a Building in-service day, whereby the staff historically has the agenda with input from the administration; and a split day, where half
the day's agenda is determined by the District and, again, speaking historically, the
other half day's agenda determined by the staff with input from the administration.
In practice, one in-service day is held in the fall, designated a Building day. The split day is held on January or February. The third in-service day is offered in April or
May of each year, and is designated a District day. In reviewing the pertinent "[tjhe Administration eBA provisions, Article 10-18 of the eRA provides that Employees
shall solicit suggestions from and involve professional
in developing and planning activities to be conducted during teacher in-service days at
both the building and District levels." Although essentially there is a committee of two
in relation to establishment of the agenda for a building in-service day, at the high does serve to
school including the principal and a teacher team leader, this relationship qualify as a committee.
Consequently, Article 10-7.3 of the CBA is also relevant here:
When any committee is established by the District which includes Employees, those Employees shall have voice and status equal with other members of the committee in the development of its recommendations. It is understood that all committee recommendations are subject to the approval of the District. The Union also urges me to consider a letter attached to the 2002-2008 eBA, where the parties agree to "memorialize existing practice" in relation to in-service days in existence prior to that eBA, and in relation to the additional in-service day added by virtue of the 2002-2008 eBA. I have accepted the testimony of Kevin Knowles, a retired teacher and past President and officer of the Federation that, prior to the 2002-2008
CBA, and apparently through much or even all of the duration of that eBA, the parties exhibited a level of cooperation which really made it unnecessary to consider whether
either party had "veto power" over inclusion of topics on building in-service days. Article 11-1 of the eRA also states as follows in relation to past practice and maintenance of conditions:
Except as this Agreement shall otherwise provide, all tenus and conditions of employment on the effective date of this Agreement to Employees covered 16
by this Agreement or as established by the rules, regulations and/or policies of the Board in force on said date, unless altered by this Agreement, shall continue to be so applicable during the term of this Agreement. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, nothing contained herein shall be interpreted and! or applied so as to eliminate, reduce nor otherwise detract from any teacher existing prior to its effective date. The thrust of the Federation's grievance here is that, in relation to the split inservice day, held on March
the District violated the CBAby imposing a
requirement that the building portion of the agenda include one segment exclusively devoted to PSSA proctor training. PSSA testing is mandatory student testing which occurs in March and April each year. There is no dispute that, at least since about
such proctor training is mandated by the state, and the evidence shows that the District administration, at the high school Principal Robert McGee, must sign an affidavit indicating, among other things, that such training has been provided. There is no dispute that Dr. McGee did mandate that the PSSAproctor training take place on the building portion of the agenda, and also directed that this training be the only agenda option during that period of time. The record fairly reflects that, in prior years, where the District wished to "borrow" time from the staff agenda, a request was made and the matter was always worked out. This included one occasion in 2007 where the Federation agreed to permit PSSA proctor training, provided it was made an option for that particular time period along with other options provided for staff.
evidence also fairly shows that, similarly, there were past occasions where the District ceded time to the Federation during a District in-service day. Simply put, the parties extended courtesies to one another.
noted by the District, at that time in 2007 the proctor training was not yet made mandatory. I agree with the District that, once such training became mandatory, there was naturally a greater sense of urgency.
The District here has made an impassioned
argument based on Article 1.2, where
the parties recognize that the District has "final authority in matters of educational policy and development, recommendations
and Article 10-7.3, where the District retains the right to reject Based on these provisions, the District urges that Dr.
of a committee.
McGee was well within his rights to decide the issue of the time for PSSA proctor training once it became clear that he and 1\1.s. Hammon were at loggerheads on the Issue. While I appreciate that the District does, in fact, have rights to approve or reject recommendations of a committee, I am more inclined to assess this grievance in relation in the committee process. This process
to the obligations of the parties in participating
requires the parties to respect the fact that each member of a committee has "voice and status equal with other members of the committee .... rr Dr. MeGee testified that he was initially directed by a cabinet member, likely Geeta Heeble, the Director of Instruction and Curriculum, that the PSSA proctor
training would have to be done on building time. This testimony suggests that Dr. McGee felt that he had no alternative other than to communicate with Ms. Hammon and
inform her of such. If this testimony is accepted, it is difficult to find that Ms. Hammon had an equal voice with Dr. McGee, since the District committee member never entered the committee process with an open mind on that issue. As such, it was reallyafait
accompli that the PSSA proctor training would occur during building time, irrespective
of what Ms. Hammon had to say on the matter. If we instead accept Dr. McGee's later testimony that the issue of when to hold the PSSA proctor training testing was his alone, the evidence still supports the fact that Ms. Hammon was not afforded the role of having an equal voice on the in-service
Dr. McGee's email of January 26, 2011 really supports the notion that the as it had done in the past on similar
District was not making a request of the Federation,
issues, and as it did on an issue with Dr. McGee during the current school year, but was making a pronouncement. Ms. Hammon's testimony concerning the subsequent
meeting between Hammon and McGee--the substance of which Dr. McGee lodged no protest to in his testimony on cross-- further supports the notion that the District
entered the process with a fixed mindset.
The fact is that, for whatever reason, Dr.
McGee did not engage the process envisioned by the parties in the eBA Dr. McGee provided persuasive testimony as to why he needed to schedule the PSSA proctor training during the building time, or at least why it was much more convenient for the District to do so. It is obvious, however, that at the meeting with Ms. Hammon he did not feel the need to provide such persuasion on the issue. Rather,
he simply "pulled rank," Had the matter been broached in a more diplomatic fashion,s and the process engaged as the parties agreed it would be, it is very possible and even likely that some compromise could have been reached which would have made everyone happy. In fact, without involving Ms. Hammon, and apparently without significant
effort, weeks later Dr. McGee and an Assistant Principal conceived of the idea of offering the staff a continuation PSSA testing days. of March 2 building activities on the afternoon of one of the each party wants to stake out positions in that the "marketplace of ideas"
relation to ultimate rights, this case really underscores
engendered by a collaborative process could have uncovered options--as it had in the
past-which might very well have produced resolution to a problem rather than conflict.
Dr. McGee candidly conceded in his testimony that he would have handled the matter differently in certain respe cts, if given the opportu nity to recreate history.
AWARD The grievance is sustained consistent with the foregoing opinion. The District violated the CBA by failing to give recognition to the Federation's right to have "voice and status equal with other members of the committee." A cease and desist order is issued, Dated: May 23, 2012