January 17, 2014

 

An ISTA lawsuit on behalf of the Nettle Creek Classroom Teachers Association has resulted in the overturning of a decision by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB) on teacher wages.

 

Marion County Superior Court Judge Thomas Carroll ruled that “school corporations and teacher associations can bargain additional wages for hours worked over the number of hours contained in a regular teacher's contract.”

 

The lawsuit may result in Associations being able to bargain with school corporations for hours required to be worked outside a teacher’s regular teacher’s contract.

 

In his decision, the Judge specifically held that a bargaining proposal made by the Nettle Creek TA was bargainable under Indiana law. The proposal stated that teachers would work an additional 15 hours per semester for $0/hour and then be paid $34/hour for any additional required hours.

 

Judge Carroll also cited a previous ISTA court victory regarding the “regular teacher’s contract” proposed by Tony Bennett in 2011 that would have allowed schools to make teachers work unlimited hours. 

 

Judge Carroll supported his decision with a ruling in that case where the Judge had held that “the regular teacher’s contract drafted by Bennett is unconscionable in that it gives school corporations the authority to unilaterally modify the number of days and hours that a teacher must work, but it does not require the school corporation to pay for the additional labor or any other additional consideration.”

 

Nettle Creek was the first school to go to Fact Finding under the new laws that went into effect in 2011.  ISTA filed a lawsuit in April of 2012 challenging the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board’s decision in Nettle Creek. 

 

This victory is a definite setback for the IEERB which continues to include in its Fact Finding decisions that teachers can be required to work unlimited hours without additional pay so long as the work relates to a teacher’s teaching duties. 

 

ISTA will continue to fight these unjust decisions and protect teachers’ rights against being made to work an unlimited number of hours per day with no additional compensation.