Cox stops distribution of chart on teacher benefits

Friday, August 31, 2007
John David Pierce

The director of Marshall County schools has been ordered by Chancellor J.B. Cox to refrain from distributing a chart comparing insurance benefits available from the school board and two education associations.

Chancellor Cox has also ordered Director John D. Pierce and the school board to stop using a payroll deduction form, as a result of a hearing conducted for litigation filed three months ago by the Marshall County Education Association.

Pierce and the school board deny any wrongdoing as alleged in the association's complaint or subsequently during orientation for new teachers last month. Furthermore, MCEA President David Sanders' claim -- that he heard teachers say Pierce discouraged them from joining MCEA because it's not needed for insurance -- is hearsay and shouldn't be permitted in court, according to the schools' lawyer, Michael Jennings of Lebanon.

The chancellor's order stems from an Aug. 15 hearing on a request from MCEA attorney Courtney Wilbert of Franklin who's argued that teachers want MCEA representation in labor contract negotiations because when health insurance premiums increased about two years ago, the school board decreased its funding and teacher benefits were cut.

See the complete story in the Tribune.