Pasco teachers union challenges school district's mid-year transfer ban
For three years, Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning talked about barring district teachers from transferring schools midway through the academic year.
He put his goal into action in August. After one quarter under the rule, the United School Employees of Pasco is fighting back.
The union has filed a class-action grievance against the administration, alleging that disallowing otherwise acceptable job transfers violates teachers' contract rights.
"We believe what they are doing is absolutely not correct, and we are uncomfortable that they have left this whole thing sitting there," USEP operations director Jim Ciadella said, noting the district and USEP did not agree upon any changes to transfer procedures. "We think the superintendent over-extended himself."
Ciadella said several teachers, as yet unnamed publicly, plan to testify at an Oct. 24 hearing that they were improperly denied moves to new schools solely because of this new practice.
The current contract does not speak of a midyear transfer ban in the portion (Article VII Section E) that sets forth the requirements to request a transfer.
Preliminary informal meetings with lower level officials have yielded no relief.
"We're trying to correct this before it gets too far down the line," Ciadella said.