Teachers' lawsuit alleges labor law violations

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tennessee Education Association Executive Director Al Mance, center, greets Marshall County Education Association members in the Courthouse lobby Tuesday. Mance was in Lewisburg to hear testimony in the Marshall County Education Association's suit against the board of education.

Opening arguments in the local teachers' association lawsuit against the Marshall County Board of Education in Chancery Court touched on whether the association had a majority and if school system leaders violated labor law.

Professional educators' vote supporting representation by the Marshall County Education Association for work contract negotiations "carried by 12," the school board's attorney, Mike Jennings, told Chancellor J.B. Cox on Tuesday morning.

While Jennings said that "was not a large mandate," the teachers' association attorney, Rick Colbert, alleged school system officials took steps to undermine association membership. Furthermore, they refrained from bargaining in good faith when obliged to do so as required by law.

Al Mance, the executive director of the Tennessee Education Association, came to the trial to provide "moral support" for teachers and other professional employees of the school system here.

The MCEA sued the county school system because system leaders were "blatantly discouraging people from joining" the association elected to conduct collective bargaining for their work contract, ....Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 25, 2008 for entire story.