BASAS Members Protect Their Right to Testify

When Superintendent of Boston School District Carol Johnson designated multiple schools as underperforming based on low student test scores, she declared the schools would operate an extra hour per day and that all employees would be compensated for their extra work. However, members of the Boston Association of School Administrators and Supervisors (BASAS), AFSA Local 6, at these “Superintendent Schools” never received compensation.

On Dec. 13, 2013, BASAS entered into arbitration with the Boston School Committee and the Department of Labor Relations at a meeting that turned into a conflict of its own.

Before the arbitration began, miscommunication about the number of witnesses allowed in the room led to conflict between BASAS and the School Committee. BASAS called six witnesses from the various “Superintendent Schools,” but School Committee officials wanted only two present, arguing that administrators were needed at their schools to supervise classrooms and ensure school buildings were secure.

The Department of Labor Relations ruled that limiting the number of administrators in the room was not a violation of the law, but that the School Committee did violate the law when they ordered the witnesses to return to school.

The School Committee was ordered to “cease and desist from making statements that would tend to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under Section 2 of the Law,” and was further directed not to “order employees to leave an arbitration in a manner that would tend to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under Section 2 of the Law.”

The School Committee will post these findings so employees clearly understand the arbitration agreement. Additionally, BASAS members who worked more than seven hours a day were compensated approximately $17,000 for their two years at “Superintendent schools.”

“We are very proud to have once again led the fight to protect the rights of our members and we thank those members who courageously testified at the Labor Board,” said BASAS President Dom Sachetti.