The Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers, PACT, gets a victory in its lawsuit against the Pulaski County Special School District.
Judge Tim Fox's order states that because the district did not have written personnel policies established at the proper time, its decision to decertify the union is void. The ruling came down Monday morning. When FOX16 contacted PACT and the school district, it was news to them.
Although both sides have previously said where they stand on this issue, they each wanted time to read the ruling and to consult with attorneys before giving interviews.
Last December, the Pulaski County Special School District Board voted to decertify
the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers’ Union.
The union countered with a lawsuit
claiming the board did not have the right to do so. At a hearing two weeks ago, teachers sounded fed up with the issue.
"I just want it all over. I would love to be able to just go to work and teach," says Loveida Ingram.
An end may be in sight. The judge in this case ruled that although the board set up a Personnel Policies Committee, PPC, as required by law, it did not have written polices in place, making its actions void. It's what the union argued in court two weeks ago.
"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 next school year. Because teachers are coming back, they have time to look at stuff," says PACT's attorney Clayton Blackstock.
Monday's order states that the plaintiff’s contracts with the PCSSD that incorporate the terms and conditions of the PNA remain in full force and effect.
Late Monday, School Board President Tim Clark issued this statement:
"The Judge’s order also requires mediation between the two parties to finalize the terms and conditions of the contract.
The ruling today means the current contract will be in place for the next school year, PCSSD can still move forward with personnel policies committee.
If the policies are in place during the first quarter of the year, the board could vote to terminate next June."
The PCSSD board voted to decertify the union December 8, 2009. If this passes, it may vote to terminate the union’s contract.