Various portions of the 2011-12 Plymouth-Canton school district’s teachers’ 2012 union contract are shaded light gray. The contract states on its first page: “The shaded areas are the employers’ interpretation of the letter of understanding regarding Public Act 103 and does not reflect an agreement of the parties.”
Graphic 3 (below) is a page taken from the collective bargaining agreement. Of the eight paragraphs contained on this page, three are in gray. The portions in gray discuss the removal of “derogatory materials” in a teacher’s personnel file, and the use of seniority to determine which teachers are subject to involuntary transfer.
Graphic 3: Page 29 of Plymouth-Canton’s 2011-12 Teachers Union Contract
If graying out prohibited subjects of bargaining is sufficient to comply with the 2011 reforms, Plymouth-Canton would simply be one of many districts that chose to comply with the law in this way (although its description of what language highlighted in gray means, as mentioned earlier, is quite obtuse). However, in Plymouth-Canton’s case, the contract also provides conflicting information about what language is still in effect and which is not.
The following sentence appears twice in the teachers’ union contract: “All monitoring or observation of the work performance of a teacher shall be conducted openly and with full knowledge of the teacher.” In one instance, it is highlighted in gray, apparently indicating that it is a prohibited subject of bargaining and presumably unenforceable. In another instance, however, it is not set off in any way, and gives all the appearance of being a regular part of the contract and fully enforceable.