Pulaski County Special School District Administrative Offices
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The two unions who represent teachers and staff who work for the Pulaski County Special School District have filed a lawsuit.
The unions released this statement:
"Lawsuits were filed by the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers (PACT) and the Pulaski Association of Support Staff (PASS) Friday in circuit court.
"While the school year winds down for students, the teachers and support staff who face an uncertain future ask for your support. Both PACT and PASS held numerous meetings with Dr. Jerry Guess who was appointed by Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education. In good faith, union leaders agreed to help Guess reduce the financial deficit created by previous school board members of PCSSD.
"Guess' financial demands and goals increased with each meeting culminating with non-renewal letters to teachers. With no evidence of reductions or benefit cuts to administrators of the district, the talks ceased leaving educators in PCSSD without their union contracts for the following 2012-13 school year.
"Marty Nix, President of PACT and Emry Chesterfield, President of PASS said, "We believe the Commissioner exceeded his authority, when he removed the union contracts and recognition."
"Members are hosting a rally on the State Capitol steps in Little Rock on Saturday May 5 at 10 a.m. The public is invited to show their support for all teachers and education support staff in our Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) and community schools.
"Teachers and support staff who face an uncertain future ask for your continued support throughout the summer months. Please show your support for educators in PCSSD and all Arkansas public schools by attending the rally."
PACT filed a lawsuit against Robin Dorey and PASS filed a lawsuit against Keith Cooper.
PCSSD and Seth Blomeley with the Department of Education says neither hav seen the lawsuit, but Blomeley says he expects some kind of litigation.
On April 20, PCSSD lost the recognition of PACT and PASS as ordered by the Arkansas Department of Education. PCSSD is currently under fiscal distress and must cut $11 million from the budget. Recently, PCSSD and the two unions negotiations over teacher benefit cuts had come to a standstill.
Stay with Today's THV and todaysthv.com for more on this developing story.