BENTON CITY -- The Kiona-Benton City School District reportedly must pay two high school teachers between $8,500 and $9,000 each for forcing them to work hours outside their contracts.
An arbitrator made the ruling last week, teacher representatives with the Kiona-Benton City Education Association and Washington Education Association told the Herald. The district also must pay for the arbitration process, but that amount wasn't immediately known.
Kiona-Benton City School Board President Charles Gray said he could not comment on the ruling because he had not received the information.
According to union representatives, high school teachers Linda Herrington and Andrea Dodson were told to work hours beyond what was in their contracts in spring 2011. The KBEA filed a protest with Superintendent Rom Castilleja and the school board, but those complaints were rejected and it went to arbitration, said KBEA president Connie Meredith.
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The arbitrator found the district unilaterally changed the teachers' contracts, union representatives said.
"They essentially made them pay (the teachers) for teaching an extra period," said Steve Lindholm with the southeast office of the Washington Education Association.
District administrators and teachers have been at odds for months. An arbitrator's decision is due in late September regarding the district increasing teacher contributions to their health insurance. Rulings on other grievances are expected later this fall.
Meredith and Lindholm said more grievances and unfair labor practice complaints will be filed against the district next week on issues ranging from harassment and retaliation for teacher union activities to unilateral alterations to teacher duties.
-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; email@example.com