This past weekend a dispute arose within the Federation of Deviess County Teachers of the United States (Federation) concerning pay raise issues. The Union filed a grievance against the US Department of Education, stating that two teachers were improperly paid approximately seventy-five thousand federal credit union dues. The grievance also cited that another teacher was not paid as well, approximately thirty-five thousand dues.
According to the FED, it is against their contractual obligation to the United States Department of Education to pay overtime and price hikes for federal employees. The Federal Credit Union claims that they cannot violate their contractual obligations with the United States Department of Education if that agency has given notice of their intent to do so. The United States Department of Education is now reviewing the matter. If no resolution is reached, the case will proceed to the next level in union arbitration. The Federation of Deviess County Teachers of the United States will present their grievance to the bargaining table.
Deviess County is a heavily industrialized community. The county is located in eastern North Carolina near Blairsville. Many of the jobs in Deviess County are in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, and other support services related to the industries in the area. There are many retirees in the area looking for job opportunities. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics there are eight million employed teachers in the United States.
The problem started last year when the first of the teachers got a notice of violation from the General Ledger of the United States Department of Education for violating the overtime pay rule. She was terminated without just cause. According to the GLS, the teachers violated an existing rule that states that the principal shall pay an employee who is engaged in a live-in facility or other arrangement with the principal for part of the regular teaching force. This rule also says the teacher may be paid only if the employee is not performing functions that would be performed by someone else in the school system. This was clearly stated in the contract and the teacher knew it.
The United States Federal Credit Union is the bargaining unit for all of the United States districts. Each credit union represents a specific teachers’ group such as the American Federation of Teachers, the American Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. As a member of the credit union, teachers have the right to bargain over anything related to pay, class size, class composition, teacher performance pay, and teacher compensation. These items are negotiated in closed meetings between the bargaining agents and the principals. Bargaining is often done through one of the members of the bargaining committee.
In this case the teacher filed a complaint against her supervisor, stating that she believed the pay break was unfair and should be applied to her next year as well as the prior year she was hired. She was able to prove that the pay break was not given in an objectively fair and justifiable way. The appeals board ruled in favor of the principal, ordering her to return to work. The case was sent back to the court in a hope that the lower court would reconsider the original award.
The United States Federal Credit Union is required to abide by the law. Violating the contract is strictly prohibited. If they do, then the penalties outlined in the contract are not applicable. If the employer does not abide by the law and the court allows them to violate it, then the teacher may sue them. The teacher can also seek damages from the other party’s insurance carrier, which will reimburse her for any losses that occurred as a result of their violation of the contract.
The whole thing took place at the Collier School in Daviess County, Florida. A judge ordered the school district to pay Ms. Valencia five hundred and sixty-two dollars and three months probationary suspended wages and two days’ suspension without pay. This was actually the second time that this happened in the last eighteen months. She was also ordered to pay her two thousand dollar deductible and the court levied additional financial penalties.