Red Wing teachers union drops grievance, avoids arbitration

By Brett Boese

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

RED WING — The Red Wing teachers union decided late last week to discontinue the grievance process against the school district, halting one step short of starting arbitration.

Discussions, which centered around contract language for compensation associated with the switch at high school to block scheduling for 2010-11, have been ongoing since February. Red Wing Superintendent Stan Slessor says the two sides met at least six times and agree on many of the issues that were initially presented by the union, but the teachers declined to sign a memorandum of understanding.

Still, both sides characterize the lengthy process as a healthy discussion that ended without any burned bridges.


"A grievance isn't a bloody fight," Education Minnesota President Kirby Hanson said. "It's a good, efficient process.

The decision allows the school district to move forward with its block schedule planning for next fall, where teachers will be required to teach three of four 80-minute periods under the new system. However, both sides are bracing for what figures to be a similar discussion next year.

The school board put off changing Twin Bluff Middle School to a block schedule for 2010-11, but it will be discussed again next year. If that decision is made, both Slessor and Hanson expect the process to take a similar route — though that discussion will start fresh.

"We anticipate there being more of the same problems and we'll handle those problems on a case-by-case basis," Hanson said. "The process, the road to the process, is still wide open."

What To Read Next
Get Local