Dickinson School Board approves $75,000 settlement in dispute with teachers
March 15 – DICKINSON – After nearly 15 months of ongoing disputes over a teacher grievance filed by 18 educators at Dickinson High School, the Dickinson Public School Board has agreed to settle the sum of $75,000.
On Monday, the DPS Board of Directors approved the settlement amount at its monthly meeting at the Professional Learning Lab. The teachers’ grievance dates back to December 2020, after the DHS complainant teachers
that they are “due to compensation due to the increased workload due to the hybrid learning environment”.
DPS Superintendent Marcus Lewton noted that more information will be available on how the settlement money will be distributed once the settlement agreement is signed by both parties and payments are made. He added that “the payments are based on the agreement reached between the two parties”.
“COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges, creating opportunities for change and growth,” Lewton said, explaining, “While I was not part of this claims process until recently, I can tell you saying we have the right building blocks in place to build We are doing amazing things in our schools and we are excited for the big things to come.”
In February 2021, the teachers’ grievance was addressed by board members, former superintendent Shon Hocker, attorney Mike Geiermann as well as a few teachers from Dickinson High School. Geiermann noted how this question violates the contract between the administration and the teachers.
“When teachers enter this profession, they understand that they will not be paid for weekends, they will not be paid for nights and they will not be paid for the work they do during the Christmas holidays. . . And we’re not here to talk about that. But what we’re here to talk about is all the extra duties that are assigned to these teachers during the school day,” Geiermann said on Feb. 8, 2021. “So again the basic question we have before you is whether or not the contract has been breached and to answer that question you need to have a serious discussion about whether it is a cap or of a floor.
David Michaelson, professor of social studies at DHS, said this question is a “double standard”.
“Because of the pandemic, more was expected. Don’t get me wrong, we understand. We teachers understand that there will be more things to do, (we have to) do things differently. However, a lot more, we think as teachers, has been piled on top of us — pandemic or not,” Michaelson said. “And that’s what we’re really here for.”
For the school board, this regulation was a way to move forward, according to the president of the board of DPS
“…It was a process that took place over many meetings over a long period of time. There were many considerations to this. terms of violation, was not an offense and how to do it,” Seaks said during Monday’s meeting. “The amount requested by the grievance was greater than that amount. That’s the amount I would say the District came up with in terms of (how) we felt…(we could) move forward with the district.”