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Arbitrator rules district owes substitute teacher back pay

An arbitrator in a dispute between the Oakland Unified School District and its teachers’ union ruled that the district violated an agreement with the union and must provide back pay to substitute teachers.

In the grievance brought last fall, the Oakland Education Association claimed the district did not honor an agreement to hire substitute teachers for additional distance learning support. The union claimed the district hired just a fraction of the substitutes who had applied.

The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service panel of independent labor arbitrators found the district failed to fulfill the agreement on several counts, including the following:

  • Failed to to hire substitutes from the agreed-upon pool of substitutes
  • Failed to provide substitutes effective and timely access during the application process
  • Failed to monitor the hiring of Special Assignment substitutes by site administrators
  • Failed to provide Chromebooks to substitutes in a timely manner, causing them to be without adequate technology for most of the Fall term

The ruling requires the district to pay at least 18 substitute teachers for the days they would have worked had they been hired; payments can be extended to as many as 145 substitutes. The district and union together will determine which teachers are eligible for back pay.

The full ruling is available here

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