JESPA wins arbitration for termination over “budget cuts,” a false excuse, Jeffco Board again votes against JESPA


UPDATE:  again, the Jeffco Board of Education votes down an arbitrator’s recommendation on an unfairly terminated JESPA member. 


JESPA has again won an arbitration in favor of JESPA member Gillian Dunning.  The arbitrator, Ruth Robinson, recommends to the Board of Education to find that our member Ms. Dunning’s termination from employment was contrary to the CBA. The arbitrator also points out clear retaliation against Ms. Dunning, the grievant in the following statement:

“Also inconsistent with the CBA, specifically with Article 12-3-5, is Principal Connor’s testimony at hearing regarding his willingness to reemploy Ms. Dunning. When asked if he would have objections to Ms. Dunning coming back to Oberon, he said that he would have to “think through that.” He further explained that a grievance filing has a “very big impact on the climate and culture of our building.” Mr. Connor wrote a glowing recommendation letter for Ms. Dunning, dated May 21, 2020. In his email to Ms. Dunning Mr. Connor told Ms. Dunning she would be “a preferred internal candidate for Oberon” for a SPED position. The Step One Grievance Form is dated July 2, 2020. Something changed, apparently from and after July 2. Beyond the fact that by his own admission, Ms. Dunning’s status was affected by her use of the CBA Grievance process, one can surmise that Mr. Connor’s unwillingness or inability to keep an eye out for opportunities to assist Ms. Dunning in her efforts to be reemployed at Jeffco was not because it would be “too time consuming”.

The arbitrator recommends reinstatement of the grievant to her job.
“If the District and JESPA accept the recommendation to find in favor of Ms. Dunning, I also recommend her return to employment in the District as soon as practicable, in a position of like status and pay compared to her previous Restorative Practices Liaison position. Further, compensation for lost pay and benefits is appropriate, and the amount should be negotiated between the parties. I stand ready to assist with a backpay determination, either by making a specific recommendation, or by assisting the parties in their negotiations.”

We ask that the Board of Education read the decision and choose to follow the recommendation made by the arbitrator. Read the arbitration here.

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