Suit filed to enforce binding arbitration vote

The Springfield Education Association filed a suit February 10 in Hampden Superior Court asking the court to enforce votes by the Springfield School Committee which directed that contract negotiations with the SEA be sent to final and binding arbitration and that teachers be placed on their proper salary levels.

The suit was filed on behalf of SEA by attorneys for the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

The suit argues that the two unanimous School Committee votes on Oct. 20 remain in force because they were not overturned by the Finance Control Board. According to Chapter 169, the law that established the FCB, the board has 14 days from having been notified of a school committee action to rescind that action.

The School Committee is still a democratically elected, fully functioning governmental body, and it acted within its authority when it voted on October 20," said MTA attorney Ira Fader. "Like the School Committee, the Control Board must act within its authority. It has the power to alter or rescind School Committee decisions within 14 days, and it didn't’t do so."  

SEA President Timothy Collins said the suit was "a perfect opportunity for the court to order binding arbitration and break the four-year logjam that continues to disrupt and damage the city’s public schools."