“The Union Can’t Do Anything Anymore.” – Really!? Update on Oak Creek Educator

Scott Farnsworth, Glue Editor- Sunday night, we shared an urgent request from Region 7 to attend the Monday night School Board meeting of the Oak Creek Franklin Joint School District to support a member who was going to face termination of his contract over some dubious circumstances.  The result:  some 500 community members, students and educators showed up at the meeting!  Region 7 Executive Director Ted Kraig was in attendance also and acted as a representative for the member.  He challenged the allegations and evidence presented by administration to justify nonrenewal and was able to forward the following message afterwards:

Thank you to everyone who turned out and otherwise provided support to Oak Creek High School teacher, Nathan Vance, last night. Attendance at the nonrenewal hearing was nothing short of amazing and we heard many stories of how Mr. Vance has positively impacted the lives of students and families in the district.

 

Following the hearing, we engaged in negotiations with the school board to settle the matter and ultimately reached resolution. Mr. Vance agreed to accept a discipline and will have his contract renewed and continue teaching in the district. The school board voted 3-1 to accept the resolution. We are very appreciative of the three school board members who, despite having some disagreements with us, worked to resolve the matter and avoid further conflict.

What can the union do post-Act 10?  Turn a nonrenewal into a minor disciplinary penalty, that’s all.  The alternative?  The teacher probably would have had to secure a personal attorney, pay a retainer of $3000 to $10000 and, in all likelihood, pay that sum for an individual far less versed in the specifics of the District’s policies and procedures – and have no access to a liability insurance policy to reimburse the expense.

That’s just one example of the security that comes with membership – and it can be needed just that fast!