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OSAS / AFSA Union Wins Case Against Detroit School District

January 15 2003 - OSAS / AFSA Union Wins Case Against Detroit School District: Arbitrator Orders District to Re-Employ Remainder of Demoted, Fired School Workers

DETROIT--(BUSINESS WIRE) The Organization of School Administrators and Supervisors (OSAS), AFSA Local 28, AFL-CIO won an arbitration case today that requires the Detroit School District to reinstate all of the union's members who were demoted or fired during the massive reorganization that began last year.

The binding arbitration award orders the District to re-employ the school workers, give them one-year contracts, and pay them the pay and benefits they lost during the period they were not working in their proper job classifications.

This win is the latest victory for OSAS, which has fought to bring all affected school workers back to work since the District and its CEO Kenneth Burnley began demoting and firing them in May 2002. At the height of the reorganization, over 400 employees were affected. The current victory affects all of the bargaining unit members who were non-renewed.

It means that approximately 150 elementary school and central office employees who were not impacted by an earlier arbitration victory will now be reinstated.

"We feel vindicated," announced Diann Woodard, President of OSAS and a former Detroit vice principal. "We were fighting for respect and what's best for our students. We were patient and the law was on our side. This win proves our contract is strong, the law is strong, and the process works. We were tested and we stand victorious against the worst that the District could throw at us."

"This is a great day for the schoolchildren of Detroit and the dedicated members of OSAS who are charged with the precious work of educating them," said Dr. Joe L. Greene, National President of the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), AFL-CIO -- OSAS's national union. "I'm pleased with the arbitrator's ruling and hope we can finally put this matter behind us and move forward to work together with the District to provide our schoolchildren with the best possible education."

The arbitrator ruled that the District violated the law when it demoted and fired the employees by not following procedures required by the Michigan School Code. Before the twin arbitration victories, OSAS had lost approximately 400 of its 600 members under the reorganization.

President Woodard is happy to report that as a result of the legal wins, they are back at full-strength with all members on board.

OSAS is affiliated with the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), AFL-CIO, a national labor organization representing public school principals, administrators and supervisors. AFSA fights for quality public school education. AFSA's Web site is at

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