Here's a copy of their release:
STOUGHTON TEACHERS SHORTCHANGED IN PAYCHECKS
As anticipated by the Stoughton Teachers Association, educators were shortchanged in paychecks distributed Thursday. The school committee and superintendent refused to pay contractually guaranteed rates, which the STA contends is a violation of the law.
In June, school Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi and the Stoughton School Committee told the STA that teachers would not receive their previously approved step increases, meaning salaries would not be increased for length of service, after the current contract expires and while a new contract is negotiated. But the STA, in an attempt to avoid taking legal action, pointed out that past practice and state law require that terms and conditions of employment (including step increases) must remain unchanged until a new contract is negotiated and that educators are entitled to the step increases established in the contract that expired Aug. 31.
The STA filed a charge of prohibited practice with the state Department of Labor Relations and an investigation is scheduled for Sept. 23.
“This is yet another example of the district disrespecting teachers by failing to honor its obligations,” said STA President Andrea Pires. “The salary schedule in the contract that just expired is supposed to be in effect until we reach a new agreement. I am concerned that the school committee is making it harder to reach that agreement as it continues to bargain in bad faith and treat teachers this way.”
Pires also expressed concern that the administration’s persistent violation of the law is creating a situation where vital resources are being diverted from the classroom to pay for legal fees for an attorney to defend the unlawful actions of the superintendent and the school committee.
Last month, the Department of Labor Relations found probable cause that the school committee violated the law when failing to negotiate with the STA over a schedule for training sessions for the new teacher evaluation system. The investigator further found probable cause that the administration illegally interfered in union business. A hearing on that complaint is being scheduled.