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VOL. 37 | NO. 17 | Friday, April 26, 2013

Rutherford County teachers file state complaint

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MURFREESBORO (AP) — The Rutherford County teachers group has filed a formal complaint over the way the state now allows bargaining over pay.

Torian Hodges-Finch, president of the Rutherford Education Association, told WPLN radio (http://bit.ly/14cLCZO) that under "collaborative conferencing," there is no way to enforce what was agreed to.

"Everyone can say something," Hodges-Finch said. "How do you say this is what we came up with, this is what we agreed to? You put it in writing."

The group filed a formal complaint with the state board of education.

The board issued a written statement.

"At this time, the district is reviewing the REA's complaint," the statement read. "The school board and district leaders value teachers and care greatly about their welfare."

District officials say they are not obligated to have any sort of legal agreement with teachers and that their policies and procedures are sufficient.

The state legislature banned collective bargaining in 2011.

The teacher's association hasn't specifically threatened legal action, but the complaint says the group could "seek relief in the Chancery Court" without "prompt and reasonable resolution."

WPLN reported this is the first time "collaborative conferencing" has been tested. There have been no prior complaints to the state.