FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIVERMORE – The Livermore Education Association is protesting the involuntary transfer of three teachers for engaging in union activity. The chapter has filed a class action grievance as well as an Unfair Labor Practice on behalf of the teachers who received notices this week they were being transferred from their East Avenue Middle School site.
"We think it's suspicious that the three teachers to be transferred just happen to be officers of the Livermore Education Association, including the vice president, treasurer, and Middle School Rep-at-Large," said Keith Pickering-Walters, president of the 650-member Livermore Education Association. "We will protect our members from this kind of behavior."
The chapter was successful on Thursday in overturning a district action to transfer a fourth East Avenue School teacher who is a union Grievance Representative and is directly involved in issues at the site.
All four teachers received lengthy three-page letters from Superintendent Brenda Miller this week explaining they were not being transferred because of their union involvement but because of "conflicting personalities" at the middle school site. LEA doesn't believe it.
"The superintendent's letters go to extremes in saying my colleagues are not being transferred for their activity, but we find it strange that these teachers have been among the most active union leaders when it comes to protecting the rights of educators and speaking out for our students," Pickering-Walters said.
Livermore teachers, he noted, have gone without a raise for five years, and have been struggling with the district to keep salaries competitive to other districts in order to retain quality teachers in Livermore.
"Under the circumstances, we feel these transfers were retaliation for the commitment shown by these teachers to their association," Pickering-Walters said.