We thought that finally electing a new president (Kathi Gundlach) would ease the strife within the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association.
The union that represents the county’s 12,000-plus teachers met with a picket of its own Monday afternoon, from another union representing 11 employees in the Classroom Teachers Association’s administrative offices.
The Palm Beach Staff Organization, affiliated with the United Auto Workers union, handed out fliers as some of the two dozen CTA board members headed inside West Palm Beach headquarters for a budget meeting.
The staff union is alleging that the local CTA has violated its contract and committed “a number” of unfair labor practices, including moving to end one position and failing to advertise another position that has been filled, said the union’s representative, Tony Hernandez.
The local apparently fired a communications staffer, covered under the contract, with about 15 minutes notice, then hired former president Theo Harris as an assistant executive director without advertising the position. Gundlach was Harris’ vice president during his tenure. Harris currently sits on the local’s board of directors, representing retired members.
Not only did the new hire not sit well with the staff union, leading to the pickets, but it really didn’t sit well with executive director Lynn Cavall, who resigned immediately.
Amid all the infighting, the union is running a budget deficit. We’ll keep you posted as more details emerge.