Under the current contract, teachers chose their school assignments, not administrative process

The Rockford Education Association’s contract, Article 12 – General Employment Practices – Section E: Involuntary Transfer – shows how little control district administration has in determining teacher assignments to schools where certain student needs exist.

1. Any staff member who is affected by a change in assignment shall be notified and consulted by the principal or head supervisor as soon as possible. Any transfer which is not acceptable to the staff member involved shall be considered an “involuntary transfer” and subject to the provisions of this section.

No transfers, unless voluntary, shall be made after June 1 prior to the coming school year, except when necessitated by changing school enrollments, staff reductions, economic conditions or new educational programs. After August 15, involuntary transfers shall be allowed only for changing school enrollments.

2. An “involuntary transfer” shall be subject to the following provisions:

In the event that there is need for transfer of a staff member, such transfer will be based on seniority; the staff member with the least seniority being transferred first.

A staff member being transferred has the right to appeal the transfer through the grievance procedure.

A staff member shall not be assigned to a vacancy for which he/she is not qualified by certification. A staff member transferred involuntarily shall be transferred only to a comparable vacancy.

Written notice of a proposed involuntary transfer shall be given to the staff member involved immediately upon knowledge of such transfer.

A staff member transferred involuntarily shall have the right of first refusal to any subsequent vacancy arising at the site or in the department from which he/she was surplused. Said vacancy shall be offered to the staff member prior to its posting.

No staff member shall be transferred involuntarily without good cause.

3. The staff member who has submitted a transfer to the Grievance Procedure shall be maintained in the status quo during the Grievance Procedure, with specific time restrictions for administration to hear the grievance.

Section F: Staff Reductions and Recalls per contract provisions – these are normal union type contract issues.

Staff reductions and recalls are based first and foremost on seniority and all the non tenured staff must be removed before any tenured staff are removed. Certification complicates the stacking order for RIFs. Members with the most seniority are the first recalled and staff can refuse an assignment by administration and not lose their recall rights.