Utica Education Association Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Utica Community Schools
UEA Charges UCS is Bargaining in Violation of
Michigan Public Employment Relations Act
November 4, 2019, UTICA, Mich. – The Utica Education Association (UEA) filed today an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against the Utica Community School District (UCS) for multiple violations of the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act.
The UEA, the second-largest teachers’ union in Michigan, has been in contract negotiations since March of 2019 and its collective bargaining agreement affecting nearly 1,500 educators expired without a new contract on June 30, 2019. The UEA has gone to the bargaining table with the goal of regaining wage losses that have resulted in a $65 million dollars owed to its members. More than a thousand UEA members rallied at the UCS Board of Education meeting on October 28 in Sterling Heights with the goal of raising awareness to the lack of progress in negotiations with the District.
“This isn’t about asking for a raise, it’s about getting restorative pay for the money we’ve sacrificed to keep Utica Community Schools financially stable,” said UEA President Liza Parkinson. “We love our kids in UCS and want the District to sit down and actually bargain in good faith.”
In the ULP charge filed this morning, the UEA contends, among other things, that the UCS bargaining team has “engaged in specific acts of bad faith” and “has sent representatives to the bargaining table without the actual authority to negotiate or reach an agreement.”
“Our ultimate goal here is to achieve a new contract,” said Parkinson. “This is a very serious step for us, drawn from our frustration in dealing with a UCS bargaining team that doesn’t appear to have permission from the superintendent of schools to actually bargain.”
The last day of bargaining was set for Friday, November 1, but the two sides have additionally met on Saturday, November 2 and have agreed to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) in an attempt to reach a final agreement and contract.
NOTE: UEA President Liza Parkinson is available for interviews to discuss this filing and the UEA-UCS contract negotiations.
Contact: Mark Gilman