Charges Upheld Against New Hampshire Superintendent Regarding Violation of Labor Law

by Norman B. Blumenthal on March 25, 2014

San Diego California employment lawyerCharges that superintendent Steven Welford violated New Hampshire labor law on multiple occasions were upheld on March 20, 2014. The charges were filed by the Farmington Paraprofessionals’ Union. They claimed that Welford violated the law at least 4 times in 2012 and 2013: coercing employees exercising union rights, interfering in union operations illegally, and failing to negotiate in good faith. Charges were filed in March of 2013.

Union President Debbie Pate indicated that they were happy with the labor board’s decision while also stating that costing the district time and money with the proceedings is always unfortunate. In spite of the regret over the cost of the proceedings, the union felt that it was important to take the right steps to ensure similar problems didn’t come up again.

The labor board’s decision indicated that Welford violated labor laws four separate times.

  1. Welford interrupted Laura Parker, newly elected union president, while she was in the midst of working with the student. He interrupted her in order to interrogate her regarding negotiations and a wage payment claim submitted by an employee.
  2. Welford advised Parker that employees who attempted to include time spent at mandatory meetings on their time cards were not working on the District’s “team.”
  3. Welford interrupted the union negotiator who was working with the students in order to question a union decision to invite a professional negotiator to contract negotiations.
  4. During a grievance meeting, Welford pointedly disapproved of the union’s filing of multiple grievances attributing difficulties to recent changes in union leadership.

Union President, Debbie Pate, indicated that morale in the district is at an all time low and this victory could make a big difference. Union officials hope it can send a message that they can work together in order to help the students.

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