Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Teachers, board hit employment contract dispute roadblock

While students are still in the midst of the current academic year, teachers in one district are working to iron out their contracts with the local school board for the next three year term. Unfortunately, just as the vote to approve a new contract was taken, a last minute employment contract dispute arose. Many California teachers have faced issues with their own employment contracts during their careers. 

The issue that has derailed the current contract is over the official calendar start date for teachers. The current contracts for all teachers in that district require them to start on September 1 and work until the end of June. The meeting to finalize the next three years went smoothly until members of the teachers' association noticed the omission of the start date from the official language of the proposed contract. The president of the union expressed his disapproval of the change and stated that the union would press the issue.

The school board representative stated that even though the union members did not sign the documents, the fact that the vote approved the contract makes it valid and binding. The board further stated that the change was made in order to accommodate the need of the school district's medical staff to assess certain students in order to meet their needs and have all supplies on hand ahead of the official start of the academic year. Teachers expressed their concern that this may require them to report earlier than their contract stipulates.

Though every other aspect of the proposed contract was agreeable to both sides, including pay structures, it is unclear how this particular issue will be resolved. Both sides had expressed their initial pleasure that they were able to agree on many points. Employees in San Jose or other areas of California who are struggling to reach an accord regarding their own employment contract dispute may consult with an attorney who is experienced in negotiating and resolving these often complicated legal issues.

Source:, "HILLSBOROUGH: Contract dispute flares up after final ratification by school board", Andrew Martins, Feb. 2, 2017

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