Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Tecumseh addresses coaching grievance, The Ann Arbor News

Tecumseh addresses coaching grievance
By Pamela Appea
The Ann Arbor News

Tecumseh school board members said they hope to speedily resolve a union grievance over hours worked by assistant coaches.

Janet B. Kolleth, an area official of the Michigan Education Association, said she shares the same goal.

But Kolleth charges that Richard D. Fauble, the Tecumseh schools superintendent, did not follow proper union procedure when the grievance was first filed several weeks ago.

Kolleth presented the grievance at the school board meeting Monday night.

When Tecumseh High School’s track team currently has one head coach and two half-time coach positions, Kolleth said it is unclear whether all three coaches are required to work the same number of hours—although the part-time coaches receive substantially less pay.

Fauble said he and Tecumseh Athletic Director Jim Gimore are researching the job description differences between part-time and full-time coaches in other districts for a base of comparison.

But when Kolleth asked, on average, how much more a full-time coach works than a part-time coach, Fauble said he couldn’t answer the question since hours “vary” for all Tecumseh coaches’ schedules.

Kolleth complained that Gilmore was also unable to answer the question during a previous conversation.

Although the original grievant, Scott Banghart, a former part-time track coach, moved to a full-time coaching position in the district, Kolleth said the problem still remains, since the salary discrepancy between part-and full-time coaches continues.

Kolleth said the amount of the discrepancies between part-time and full-time coaches is a “few thousand dollars.”

Kolleth also said the superintendent erred by threatening retaliation – not to a particular individual, but rather to future job applicants – in a recent conversation with the former grievant.

About two weeks ago, Kolleth said Fauble Banghart heard Fauble say that the district would eliminate one of the part-time coaching positions for the track team. Kolleth said Fauble should not be “meddling with union affairs.”

“He should work with the association, not the grievant,” Kolleth said.

But at Monday night’s school board meeting, Fauble said he did not do or suggest anything of a retaliatory nature during the conversation with Banghart.

“I think I’ve been fair. I’ve tried to be fair at all times,” Fauble said.

Edward Tritt, president of the school board, said the school board cannot make a snap decision to make all three track coaching positions full-time.

Tritt said it’s been a “common practice” for the Tecumseh schools to offer full and part-time coaching positions for different school athletic teams.

Kolleth emphasized to board members that the MEA does not want to file a second, presumably more severe, grievance with the Tecumseh school board.

Instead, Kolleth said she hopes to find a solution “that we can both live with.”

Originally published Tuesday, March 28, 2000