Last winter, as you may recall, there was a great deal of snow and much confusion over when and if to take snow days — not to mention how to schedule the make-up days. The school district, after meeting with the union and not liking our proposals, sent out a survey to our membership.

This is a violation of the law: the department has to negotiate directly with the BTU on these matters. We appealed their survey and won our case at the Labor Board. See here.

Below is an excerpt from the board’s announcement:

…5. On February 10, 2015, the School Committee met with the Union to negotiate adjustments to the school calendar to make up for school cancellations that occurred as a result of the snow during the school year.

6. On February 13, 2015, the School Committee sent a survey to bargaining unit members soliciting their views on when missed school time should be made up.

7. Prior to distributing the survey described in paragraph 6, the School Committee did not notify the Union of the survey and offer to negotiate the matter, or receive the Union’s consent.

8. Work days and the work year are mandatory subjects of bargaining.

9. By the conduct described in paragraphs 6 and 7, the School Committee bypassed the Union and dealt directly with bargaining unit members over their terms and conditions of employment in violation of Section 1O(a)(5) of the Law.

10. By the conduct described in paragraphs 6 and 7, the School Committee have derivatively interfered with, restrained and coerced its employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed under Section 2 of the Law in violation of Section 10(a)(1) of the Law…

The practical effect of this is a lesson learned (we hope) for the school district, and the next time it is tempted to bargain directly with members, it will obey the law and speak directly with the BTU.