Artesia : Teacher Grievances Denied

Five elementary schoolteachers have been denied grievances filed against the ABC Unified School District for a controversial staffing plan that involuntarily transferred them to other campuses.

An arbitrator from the American Arbitration Assn. ruled that the district did not violate any of the teachers’ “contractual rights” in ordering the transfers last year from Niemes Elementary School.

The ABC Federation of Teachers, which represented the teachers, filed the grievances in June because of the district’s plan to convert Niemes to a magnet school. The school is now operating as a magnet school.

The union and the teachers objected to the district opening all job positions held by Niemes teachers to all district teachers. Teachers from outside the district also were eligible to apply.


In the written ruling, arbitrator Joseph F. Gentile stated: “All of the candidates, including the five grievants, were qualified and competent teachers . . . Many candidates were not selected for the program. This non-selection should not be viewed as any manner of negative badge.”

Of the current 23 staff members at Niemes, 9 were from the original staff, 9 were teachers hired from other districts and 5 were teachers from other schools within the ABC District, said John Ennis, union president.