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Teachers union fighting PCSSD over union replacement

There is a new round in the fight between the Pulaski County Special School District and the teacher's union.
There is a new round in the fight between the Pulaski County Special School District, PCSSD, and the teacher's union. A judge says the board had the right to decertify the union, but the teachers aren't happy with what the board has replaced it with.

The union believes the formation of a Personnel Policies Committee to replace the union was illegal because of the timing. Teachers say they want this issued resolved fairly so they can get back to educating children.

"It's been horrible, people just everybody not knowing what's going to happen and always people asking questions," says PACT member Loveida Ingram.

Ingram is among dozens of teachers in the PCSSD wanting answers and a resolution to a lawsuit filed on their behalf by Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers, PACT.

The suit came about after the PCSSD voted to decertify the teacher's union. The judge ruled the district had the right to do so, however, questions remain over the legality of the formation of the Personnel Policies Commission, PPC, set up to succeed the union.

"The committee wasn't even formed until Friday. That's when they got it all together and that's why the law requires it be formed in the first quarter of the the next school year, because teachers are coming back, they have time to look at stuff," says Clayton Blackstock, PACT attorney.

PACT and some of the teachers want the judge to order the old policies stay in place for the next year, then make a smooth transition to the PPC. But school board president Tim Clark thinks no delay is necessary.

"It was created by teachers as the state law dictates and it was done right," says Clark.

It is a decision for the judge and one Ingram anxiously awaits.

"I just want it all over. I would love to be able to just go to work and teach," says Ingram.

Another worry for the teachers is whether they will have any negotiating power over contracts with the Personnel Policy Commission as they did with PACT. The district says they'll have some say so, after all the committee is made up of teachers.

The current agreement with PACT is set to expire July first at which point the Personnel Policies Committee will take its place. The judge wanted to take some time to review the case. He hasn't said when he'll make a decision, but no matter what the outcome an appeal is likely.


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