Hundreds expected to turn out for Pasco teacher grievance hearing today
Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino has reserved the School Board meeting room for her 5 p.m. Thursday hearing of a class-action grievance by thousands of district elementary teachers. The teachers have complained that their work load has become too burdensome, beyond the actual requirements of their contract and state mandates. (See the statement of grievance here.)
Big crowds are expected to hear the presentations by the United School Employees of Pasco and the district administration.
"We've invited every teacher in the school district," USEP business representative Jim Ciadella told the Gradebook.
The issue is a hot one, highlighted by Gov. Rick Scott's call for recommendations on how to reduce paperwork and other mandates that interfere with teachers doing their primary job of instruction.
Ciadella said he expects to make his presentation in about an hour, with first-hand accounts by classroom teachers. The administration will then make its response. Fiorentino has said she will not make a decision on the complaint immediately, taking time afterward to research issues, seek any needed clarification and prepare a response.
"She never decides right on the spot" in these types of hearings, assistant superintendent Renalia DuBose said.
If the USEP is dissatisfied with Fiorentino's ruling, which is due within five working days of the hearing, it may appeal to the School Board.