Union Files Complaint Against Oxford School Board

The union representing four clerks whose jobs were moved from full time to part time in last budget cycle has filed a complaint with the state labor board.

Editor's Note: The following news release comes from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees:

Council 4 AFSCME, a union which represents employees including clerks, secretaries, janitors, paraprofessionals and other non-teaching certified staff, is looking to the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations to resolve a formal complaint over (what the union says is) the Oxford Board of Education’s unlawful treatment of four school clerks.

Council 4 filed a labor board complaint last June against the Oxford Board of Education,* asserting it violated the legal rights of members of AFSCME Local 1303-413 (which represents school secretaries, clerks and bookkeepers) by unilaterally slashing the work hours and taking away critical health care benefits from the four clerks.

The State Labor Board will hold a formal hearing into Council 4’s complaint on Jan. 25, 2012 in Wethersfield.

“The Oxford Board of Education acted unlawfully and showed complete disregard for a dedicated group of workers who are also Oxford residents,” said Council 4 Staff Representative Victoria Lynn DeFrank, negotiator for AFSCME Local 1303-413. “We look forward to arguing our case before the State Labor Board, and we expect justice will be served.”

In the complaint (which is attached as a PDF to this article), Council 4 is demanding the Board of Education cease and desist from violating the collective bargaining agreement and make members of the school secretaries’ union whole (with interest) for their losses.

*Note: Oxford Board of Education Chairwoman Paula Guillet did not return a call seeking comment Friday, when the news release was submitted to Oxford Patch. Oxford school Business Manager Rosemary Hanson said she could not discuss the issue because it is considered "pending litigation."

issue, which Oxford Patch first reported in the spring.

Silvia Gee January 21, 2012 at 05:38 PM
If cutting hours is what it takes to save money and keep programs intact, then the board acted correctly. The union members should not come ahead of our children. Both should be considered equally.
Lisa Wildman January 23, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I have found from my experience the admins provide support to our students and the school faculty so that everyone can concentrate and focus on facilitating a smoothly run learning environment. They have always politely and with care listened to my concerns as a parent and been there to help guide me. Thank you for all that you do!
Bernard January 23, 2012 at 04:31 PM
This is about whether a contract has been violated. Nothing more and nothing less.
Bernard January 23, 2012 at 04:36 PM
And to other comments, our schools have been hurt by the inconsistency in admin support. Yes the phones get answered and the Admin does a good job making do but don't assume that cutting hours and positions has no impact. Truthfully, most posting here don't really care what happens as long as they can somehow stick it to the unions. Go to the schools website to see what limited admin. support gets us.
Bernard January 23, 2012 at 07:32 PM
When one mentions the "union entitlement mentality" - I usually do not consider them much of a fan. When contracts are signed by municipalities and unionized workers-these are agreements based on mutual understanding. If one has a contract, one expects it to be followed. This "mentality" is one that we all expect when we enter into contracts. However, when it comes to unions- this expectation that a contract be followed suddenly becomes "entitlement." I wont bring up the children because few can agree what is best when it comes to funding education. Cutting budgets is never done in a targeted way and are often implemented in an arbitrary way. Just cut $200,000 because I think education is too expensive .


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