Settlement reached in teacher lawsuit vs. Grand Island Public Schools

Item regarding settlement on Thursday school board agenda
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit pitting Grand Island Public School teachers against...
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit pitting Grand Island Public School teachers against the school district.(MGN)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:19 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit pitting Grand Island Public School teachers against the school district.

A spokesperson for the Nebraska State Education Association confirmed that a settlement has been reached in the case. The NSEA is an umbrella organization for all the teacher’s unions in the state.

An item on Thursday night’s Grand Island Public School Board agenda indicates that a settlement has already been reached. The item on the agenda reads: “Discuss, consider, and take all necessary action to approve the agreement reached by and between Grand Island Public Schools and the Grand Island Education Association to resolve and dismiss the pending litigation in the Commission of Industrial Relations regarding substitute teachers.”

Grand Island Educational Association President Michelle Carter said the lawsuit was only to protect those who covered under GIPS’s collective bargaining agreement.

“This is purely a contractual disagreement, as the recognized bargaining agent for the teachers of Grand Island Public Schools, it is Grand Island Educational Association responsibility to make sure all those teachers which are part of our bargaining unit are compensated fairly and according to the terms of the contract,” Carter said.

A CIR court document dated August 5 indicated that a trial scheduled for August 11 had been postponed “pending finalization of a settlement agreed to by the parties.” Local4 has contacted attorneys representing both parties for comment and is waiting for their response.

In January, the Grand Island Education Association sued the district in the CIR claiming that it should be paying certain substitute teachers as full-time employees. The teachers union claimed that subs were being used to replace teachers who had retired or otherwise left the district permanently. GIEA maintains that those teachers should be treated as full-time employees.

In February, an attorney for Grand Island Public Schools asked the CIR to dismiss the complaint filed by the union. claiming that it failed to specify which teachers were misclassified and therefore could not establish that those teachers were union members. GIPS also argued that the union’s petition did not specify when the alleged prohibited practices happened and so could not establish that the alleged wrongdoing fell within the six-month timeframe during which a complaint could be filed.

In May, a CIR spokesperson said the court had rejected the school district’s motion to dismiss.

Copyright 2022 KSNB. All rights reserved.