Posts tagged "Educators"

New Bedford Educators Association v. Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, et al. (and two consolidated cases) (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-108-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   16-P-654                                        Appeals Court   NEW BEDFORD EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION  vs.  CHAIRMAN OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION & others[1] (and two consolidated cases[2]).     No. 16-P-654.   Middlesex.     May 4, 2017. – August 23, 2017.   Present:  Trainor, Vuono, & Sullivan, JJ.     Practice, Civil, Standing, Declaratory proceeding, Action in nature of mandamus, Relief in the nature of certiorari. Administrative Law, Standing, Judicial review.  Declaratory Relief.  Mandamus.  Board of Education.  Commonwealth, Education.  Education.  School and School Committee.  Labor, Public employment.     Civil actions commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 18, July 23, and October 21, 2014.   After consolidation, motions to dismiss were heard by Kimberly S. Budd, J.     Laurie R. Houle for the plaintiffs. Iraida J. Alvarez, Assistant Attorney General (Pierce O. Cray, Assistant Attorney General, also present) for the defendants.     VUONO, J.  In these consolidated cases, we consider the propriety of actions taken by the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (commissioner) and by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (board) in creating and approving “turnaround plans” for chronically underperforming schools pursuant to the so-called Achievement Gap Act (Act), G. L. c. 69, § 1J.  The plaintiffs, New Bedford Educators Association (NBEA), Holyoke Teachers Association (HTA), and Boston Teachers Union (BTU) (collectively, the unions), filed separate complaints, later amended, in the Superior Court against the commissioner, the board, and its chairman (collectively, the defendants), alleging that the defendants failed to satisfy the requirements of the Act with regard to four chronically underperforming schools located in New Bedford, Holyoke, and Boston.[3]  The unions sought declaratory relief pursuant to G. L. c. 231A.  NBEA and HTA also sought certiorari review under G. L. c. 249, § 4, and relief in the nature of mandamus pursuant to G. L. c. 249, § 5.  The defendants moved to dismiss the unions’ complaints under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), 365 Mass. 754 (1974), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  Following a hearing, a judge dismissed the complaints, concluding that the unions did not have standing to challenge the turnaround plans because the unions’ primary concerns were outside the area of interest protected by G. L. c. 69, § 1J, and because the defendants’ statutory duty was to students, not to local teachers’ unions.  On appeal, the unions contend that the judge erred in dismissing their complaints solely on the basis of standing.  For the reasons […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 23, 2017 at 2:33 pm

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Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee v. Groton-Dunstable Educators Association (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-075-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-701                                        Appeals Court   GROTON-DUNSTABLE REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE  vs.  GROTON-DUNSTABLE EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION. No. 14-P-701. Middlesex.     March 9, 2015. – July 20, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Wolohojian, & Carhart, JJ. School and School Committee, Professional teacher status, Termination of employment.  Education Reform Act.  Arbitration, Collective bargaining, School committee.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining, Termination.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 4, 2013.   The case was heard by Robert L. Ullmann, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Laurie R. Houle for the defendant. Howard L. Greenspan for the plaintiff.     WOLOHOJIAN, J.  At issue is whether the defendant union is entitled on behalf of a terminated teacher to pursue arbitration under the provisions of its collective bargaining agreement, or whether it is instead required to pursue arbitration under G. L. c. 71, § 42, amended by St. 1993, c. 71, § 44.  Because we conclude that G. L. c. 71, § 42, provides the exclusive route to arbitrate the termination of a teacher with professional teacher status (previously known as tenure), we affirm the judgment resulting from the allowance of the plaintiff school committee’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The school committee and the union entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that covered the period September 1, 2011, through August 31, 2014.  One article of the CBA governed the arbitration of grievances, and set out detailed procedures for such arbitration.  Another article of the CBA provided that teachers would not “be disciplined, reprimanded, reduced in rank or compensation, or deprived of any professional advantages or salary increase without just cause.” Melissa Pooler, a teacher with professional teacher status,[1] was terminated by the school committee on July 16, 2013.  After the union’s grievance on behalf of Pooler was denied,[2] the union claimed arbitration under the CBA.  The school committee responded by suing to stay arbitration pursuant to G. L. c. 150C, § 2.  The school committee’s motion for a preliminary injunction was allowed, as was its subsequent motion for judgment on the pleadings.  The latter is the subject of this appeal.[3] Section 42 of G. L. c. 71 provides, as pertinent here, that teachers with professional teacher status (such as Pooler) may seek to have an arbitrator review their termination in accordance with the procedures specified in the statute.  Section 42 also provides that such a teacher “shall not be dismissed […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm

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