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How to "file a grievance" without the union's cooperation
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

Subj:      Re: [Mpls] "Realignment" at MPS (what teachers can do)
Date:     7/7/2004 5:54:58 AM Central Daylight Time
From: (Doug Mann)

In a message dated 7/6/2004 9:26:02 PM Central Daylight Time, David writes:

<< At a meeting between the affected teachers and the union today, representatives of the union, the district and Education Minnesota closed ranks and all said the same thing - the tenure rules require this result [185 high seniority teachers with multiple licensures being "realigned" into specialized positions], and there is nothing they can do about it. >>

In my opinion there are two actions that affected teachers should consider taking [in addition to retaining a lawyer] :

1) Demand that the board take corrective action at the next board meeting (July 13).

2) File grievances within 30 days of receiving notice about being involuntarily realigned out of a job.  The grievances may take the form of a letter demanding specific and timely corrective action sent to the administration (Superintendents office) and board members, with courtesy copies to [your lawyer], the union office (MFT local 59) and the Minnesota Attorney General (letter to MAG is optional unless you are considering asking for invention from the MAG office). The letter should set out the grounds and pertinent facts that could form the basis of a lawsuit against the district and specific district employees and board members who are
allegedly breaking the law / violating contractual rights.

The grounds: the need to "realign" [many positions] was produced by excessive layoffs, and that some of the excessed elementary teachers who were fired and will be rehired possess the necessary qualifications to bid on and fill the positions of less senior teachers in other specialized areas. Give the essential details, i.e., how many teaching positions have been cut in the 2004-2005 budget; note that retirements, quits, and firings for cause will reduce the need to layoff teachers (give figures if available), and the number of teachers fired for lack of employment (laid off). Cite laws (including teacher tenure act) that are being violated and Court opinions and specific language from those Court opinions that support your position.

-Doug Mann