MEA receives injunction that stops aide contracting

HARRISON — The Michigan Education Association school employee union received a court injunction to stop the Harrison Community Schools from contracting its teachers aides, according to the MEA.

Under current labor law, school districts are able to contract out for noninstructional services, but not for instructional employees. The positions in question include recess aides, special education aides and clerks.

The district is appealing the injunction to the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Employment Relations Committee may also decide on the matter. A ruling from either the court of appeals or MERC can set the precedent for whether teacher aides are noninstructional employees or not.

Establishing a clear precedent will relieve districts of uncertainty in these contracting decisions. If the ruling stands in favor of the MEA, schools would be left without a cost-saving tool.

References: Mount Pleasant Morning Sun, "Teacher’s aide change leads to suit," Aug. 2, 2007 Michigan Education Association web site, "Harrison parapros score major victory against school board’s effort to privatize their jobs," Nov. 6, 2007