Today, the Thompson Valley School District was vindicated by a panel of appellate court judges, who reversed a preliminary injunction that the Thompson Education Association originally sought to force the School District to maintain an expired collective bargaining agreement with the union. In short, the contract forced the TEA to maintain that the TEA is the only authority allowed to bargain on behalf of teachers.
This ruling stems from a ruling last month that forced the District to continue with the expired contract until a trial to determine whether the Thompson School District negotiated in good faith could run its course.
Of course, forcing the board to uphold a contract essentially allows the TEA to hold the District hostage and removes any power the school board has in making effective decisions on behalf of the school, and, subsequently, the voters the board represents. Here’s an excerpt from the ruling:
“The District will suffer irreparable injury absent a stay because the District has the constitutional responsibility to govern the affairs of the District. The preliminary injunction interferes with the District’s ability to exercise this constitutionally-mandated function.”
In response to the ruling, Thompson School Board President Bob Kerrigan told Complete Colorado:
“I am relieved. I am excited for where it takes us. I am so happy the court system recognized our constitutional rights. Hopefully the community will see the board has been doing what’s in the best interest of our kids. We have done everything upfront and transparently.”
The board maintains that it did negotiate in good faith, but that good faith does not automatically mean that an agreement will be reached. Nonetheless, this decision is yet another setback for unions in Colorado at a time when the unions are fighting on multiple fronts to maintain relevance and power. This has to be a bad day for teachers unions.