Pierce: trying to 'help teachers'

Friday, June 27, 2008
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr John David Pierce testifies during MCEA lawsuit.

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Marshall County teachers' first pay day was scheduled early last fall "to help teachers," according to the former schools director who testified Wednesday during a Chancery Court trial in which bad faith is alleged during work contract negotiations.

The earlier payday was "to move things along and show good will," John David Pierce explained under questioning from Rick Colbert, the Marshall County Education Association's attorney in the teachers' petition for an order from Chancellor J.B. Cox for a return to contract negotiations.

Teachers here don't have a work contract. They alleged that Pierce, the school board, and others interfered with association membership by sending payroll deduction forms and providing a chart comparing MCEA liability insurance premiums to what the system provides and what's available from a competing teacher group that disavows contract negotiations.

"There was no sinister motive to it," Pierce testified. School system leaders wanted to "send out as much information as possible."

The MCEA lawsuit didn't have anything to do with it, said Pierce, who was fired by ...Pick up a copy of today's edition, Friday, June 27, 2008 for entire article.