Sunday, January 15, 2017

Greater Egg Harbor School Board Ordered to Pay Wrestling Coaches After Losing Arbitration Case

There seems to be no end in the continuing labor disputes between the Greater Egg Harbor Regional Education Association and the Greater Egg Harbor Board of Education.

On December 10th, 2016, Arbitrator Robert Glasson issued an Arbitration Award sustaining the position of the Association that the Board and Administration again violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. 

The arbitrator ruled that the language in the contract was clear and unambiguous and that the Board had violated the contract by failing to compensate three assistant wrestling coaches as prescribed in the contract. The Board was ordered to pay three assistant wrestling coaches $764 each.

Stephanie Tarr, President of the Association, stated “This is just another example of poor judgment by Superintendent, John Keenan and his Central Administration, which made the initial determination not to pay the assistant wrestling coaches what they were clearly entitled to under the terms of the contract and/or following the advice of its labor counsel, Joseph Betley, Esq. of the firm Capehart and Scatchard located in Mt. Laurel, to pursue the matter to arbitration.” 

The Association has filed numerous grievances since the arrival of Mr. Keenan and has been successful in pursuing those grievances to arbitration according to Tarr.

Myron Plotkin, NJEA Representative who represented the Association in the arbitration as well as all of the other arbitrations in the district said “This Administration has done nothing but waste taxpayers’ dollars on unnecessary legal fees to fight the Association and then lose the cases.  That is reprehensible and shows a complete disregard of the proper and best use of tax dollars and only demonstrates a lack of leadership.  In the instant case, the total amount due to the assistant coaches was $2,292. Not only did the Board have to pay that, it also incurred the expenses for its legal representation, advice, appearances and briefs which well exceeded the $2,292 due to the coaches.”

Tarr questioned whether or not the entire Board is being made aware of these arbitration cases and have actually read the arbitration Awards. “If the Board has not been made fully aware of these awards or has not bothered to read the entire Awards to see what the arbitrators had to say, well then shame on them.” she stated.  

“If they have read them and just don’t care or blindly follow the Superintendent and/or labor counsel, well then again, shame on them also!  Continually losing these cases coupled with the disruption due to the dispute in the contract negotiations should send a message to the Board and the community regarding the administration of this district and what has been occurring during the last 2½ years since Mr. Keenan has been Superintendent. Hopefully, the parents and community will say at some point, enough!” she concluded.  

Press Release by Greater Egg Harbor Regional Education Association    


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