Disputes between teachers and administrators are common. They can arise for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the situation can be easily handled; however, sometimes resolving teacher disputes requires additional assistance and skill. It is extremely important to handle disputes properly in order to avoid future problems. Teacher union rules must be followed when working to clear up disagreements. Remember that although the problem may seem trivial to you, it may be very significant to the other party.
Understand the Problem
The first step in working towards any resolution is to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the problem. Teachers may sometimes bring informal complaints to the school administrators. These should be taken seriously, because if they are not promptly addressed, they could likely turn into more formal grievances. Administrators must get the dispute in writing so that it can be properly reviewed. Only then can a full review of the problem be completed.
With the abundance of communication and social media, all too often disputes can turn into public issues. It is essential that all possible steps are taken to protect the confidentiality of the discussion. Minor disagreements can often be solved by simply sitting down with the teacher and talking about the problem. Make sure that another person attends the meeting, as an observer. Document all communication with the teacher, because this could become important information later, should the dispute continue.
Very often, small disagreements can be easily fixed with prompt communication. Just as with any human resource matter, school administrators have to be able to listen to teachers, and communicate with them to understand what is actually behind the issues. Flexibility and the ability to compromise will go a long way towards improving the relationships between administrators and teachers. Further, teachers need to know that they are supported, which can often be a cause of concern for educators.
Some issues can be swiftly and easily put to rest, while others may be more complicated. Sometimes disputes cannot be quickly resolved, and the situation will progress. The teacher may file a grievance through the union. If this occurs, the rules and regulations of the union grievance process apply. Nothing else should be done outside of this process. When the grievance involves a legal issue, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced education attorney before proceeding with any response or action.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Resolving Teacher Disputes, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Cathleen M. Dooley at 480.461.5335, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.