The Idaho Education Association is preparing to fight a bill brought by the Idaho School Boards Association that would truncate the appeals process for classified employees who file grievances.

Karen Echeverria of the ISBA brought the legislation, S1297, to the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and the panel agreed to print it. Essentially, under current law, a classified employee can appeal a grievance up to the district court level if he or she believes justice has not been done. S1297 would give final authority to the school board.

The bill’s statement of purpose reads, in part, “In these times, districts need to have flexibility to make appropriate personnel decisions without court intervention based upon the subjective and ambiguous term ‘unfair treatment.’ Further, the right to appeal a decision on a grievance defeat the principle of ‘at-will’ employment and essentially provides greater rights to a classified at-will employee of a public school district than is provided to an annual contract certificated teacher or administrator with regard to personnel decisions that should be independently made by the local school board. Local control of these decisions should be in the hands of the local school boards.”

As a union representing classified as well as certificated Idaho school employees, the IEA believes that all employees need more rights, not fewer. If you are a classified school employee interested in fighting this bill, please contact your region director.

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