Congratulations to our MEA-MFT members in the local Missoula Head Start union, who recently won an important case in district court.
The court ordered Missoula Head Start management to arbitrate a grievance over management’s failure to follow the contract with respect to reduction in force (RIF).
According to MEA-MFT Field Consultant Tom Gigstad, the bargained contract requires management to RIF by seniority, but management simply cut every employee by a week.
When the local union filed a grievance, management refused to recognize the grievance because it was filed by a union. The contract language refers to grievances from “employees.”
“We said, among other things, ‘this is absurd, the union is a group of employees,'” said Gigstad. The court agreed and sided with union members. Fairness prevailed, for now. Management has appealed to the state Supreme Court.