Board Hears Teacher Grievance, Delays Decision
April 14, 2021
By Tom Tolen / email@example.com
NOTE: This story has been updated with new comments from Superintendent Outlaw.
After about 45 minutes of discussion the Brighton Board of Education took no action Monday night on a Level III grievance by the Brighton Education Association. The grievance was filed on behalf of high school teacher Aaron Walter, who the grievance contends, was approved and assigned to teach a credit recovery class in 6th hour for two semesters — comprising a full year.
Walter taught the first semester and says he believed he would be teaching the class again in the second semester. But as it turned out, the class was for only one semester. According to BEA President Barry Goode, the snafu was due to a clerical error by a staff secretary that was not caught.
While agreeing that it was clearly a paperwork error by a member of the district’s clerical staff, Superintendent Matthew Outlaw says that at no time was Mr. Walter assigned to an extra class for the second semester. Administration also shared emails supporting its position as well as the official MiStar assignment which showed that no additional class was ever created.
Walter says even though he didn’t teach the class, he deserves to be compensated, arguing that he signed an agreement in good faith. Goode asserts that all aspects of contracts involving teachers must be adhered to, otherwise they become “meaningless”. Goode says he has taken the step of filing such grievances in order “to change the future,” saying in past cases where he has settled with the district without going the grievance route, the problem has continued.
The board passed a motion to table the matter and render a decision within 30 days. Board president Roger Myers, while declining to comment on the grievance, says the board will likely make a decision at it its first meeting in May. Goode, in turn, says if the board denies the grievance, he will file for arbitration. The Brighton Education Association represents about 325 teachers in the Brighton Area Schools.