BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR
In the Matter of the Arbitration of a Dispute Between
BAYFIELD EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
BAYFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
Mr. Barry Delaney, Executive Director, Northern Tier UniServ-
West, appearing on behalf of the Association.
Mr. Christopher R. Bloom, Attorney at Law, Weld, Riley,
Prenn & Ricci, S.C., appearing on behalf of the District.
The Association and District named above are parties to a 2001-2003 collective
agreement that provides for arbitration of certain disputes. The parties jointly asked the
Employment Relations Commission to appoint the undersigned to hear and resolve a
pay for field trips. A hearing was held on April 29, 2003, in Bayfield, Wisconsin, at which
parties were given the opportunity to present their evidence and arguments. The parties
filing briefs by June 9, 2003.
The parties ask:
Did the District violate the collective bargaining agreement
when it paid Curtis Stelmaszewski
$14.00 per hour for 8 student trips to various post high school education sites during the
2002? If so, what is the appropriate remedy?
The Grievant is Curtis Stelmaszewski, a special education teacher with the District
seven years. During the summer of 2002, he took special education children on eight field
colleges and technical schools. He was paid $14 an hour for his 64 hours on those trips, and
grievance is for the extended pay rate of pay rather than the $14 an hour. The grievance
August 29, 2002, states:
I am filing a grievance for inadequate pay which I received on
August 9th and August 23rd. I
should have received extended contract pay for taking Special Education students to various
Universities, Colleges, and Technical schools. Instead, I was given a "21st
Century" rate of $14.00
per hour and I should have been given $32.00 an hour according to my current yearly
I was told in the beginning of last May to stop the 21st Century Afterschool
Program because we had
no funding left. My pay stubs listed the 21st Century as the fund I was
paid from at the $14.00 per
hour rate of pay.
I followed, by law, the IEP goals and
objectives of these students, and I was directed to write
a report on our visits and insert these reports into the student's IEP files. I discussed the pay
with the District Administrator and I was told that it would be discussed with the District
Secretary. I received my second check (8-23-02) and still had not been paid extended
wages, nor had I received any explanation from any one why I was denied extended contract
I discussed my extended contract pay situation with Mark Jansen on Tuesday. August
27th and with
Jeff Miller on August 28th and once again I was told nothing about the
The 21st Century Afterschool Program referred to above
was a three-year federal grant
to help kids after school. The Grievant worked for $14 an hour for after-school tutoring
grant and there is no dispute about that pay. At the beginning of September of 2001, the
Director, Terry Bauer, told the Grievant that there was only $14,000 left in grant money,
and in May
of 2002, he told the Grievant to discontinue the after-school tutoring program because the
Century Funds had been depleted. The Grievant was paid $14.00 an hour under an
the prior administration. In the first year of the work, he got $20 an hour. A former
took that rate down to $9.33 an hour, and the Grievant and he then agreed to $14 an hour.
The 21st Century Program has nothing to do with the disputed field
trips at issue here other
than the fact that the $14 an hour rate of pay came from that experience.
During the summer of 2002, the Grievant was involved in a Learn & Earn
during that summer, the Grievant proposed to the District that he conduct field trips with
education students, taking them to colleges, universities and technical schools. He
talked to Finance Manager Nancy Heaton about it, who sent him to the interim District
Administrator, Donald Anderson, for approval. Anderson recalled that the Grievant came to
office in the first week in July of 2002 and proposed taking a couple of field trips. Anderson
concerned about the costs of these trips. The Grievant said he would use a school vehicle
would accept $14 an hour. Anderson then agreed and talked to Mark Jansen, the incoming
Administrator, at a later time. Anderson did not think about where the $14 an hour figure
and there was no discussion of extended contract pay. At first, the Grievant had approval
trips but Jansen later gave him approval for four additional trips.
Special Education Director Jeffrey Miller and the Grievant talked about the field trips
regarding special education students who were enrolled in the summer Learn & Earn
Miller had no specific recollection of telling the Grievant to write up IEP's (Individualized
Programs), the Grievant had a clear recollection of being directed by Miller to do so.
recalled that the Grievant said Miller asked him to write up IEP reports, and the Grievant
told her that
such a directive changed everything. At that point, the Grievant thought about the extended
pay rate. Heaton agreed that he should be paid the extended contract pay rate for the IEP
Anderson also approved that rate for the one and one-half hour of time for that work.
THE PARTIES' POSITIONS
The Union contends that the Employer cannot unilaterally implement a wage rate or
with an individual employee a wage rate that changes what is found in the collective
agreement. The contract states that the Board can set its own wage rates for duties such as
chaperoning and/or supervising of athletic and other events. This language applies to
or extra-curricular activities just like all of the specific activities listed on page 21 of the
The page has the heading of "Activity Schedule" and all of the specific wage rates are for
club advisors, class advisors, and for other extra-curricular or co-curricular activities.
activities are those activities that are complementary to but are not part of the regular
Extra-curricular activities are those that are outside of the regular curriculum or outside of
duties of a profession. The provision cited by the District does not apply to work done by a
during the regular school term or during the regular student day, where such work is a
of the regular curriculum that is extended beyond the school term or regular school day.
The Union argues that the appropriate language is found in Article X(3) regarding
employment. Under that provision, the District paid the Grievant a proration of his regular
salary for testing a student during the summer of 2002. The District also paid him a
proration of his
salary pursuant to Article X for writing reports of the eight trips in
question and placing those reports in the students' IEP's during the summer of 2002.
If one duty is
an extension of the regular curriculum duties, it follows that the duties involving the actual
should also be considered an extension of the regular curriculum duties.
The Grievant testified that an IEP is an individual education plan for special
students and by law, such plan must be developed and put into writing. Most of the IEP
District to offer a curriculum that prepares the special education student for post-secondary
and/or an occupation. That curriculum includes visiting local WITC, colleges, and
a designated special education teacher to provide experiences for possible future educational
It also includes receiving community experiences in college and technical school visits. The
eight trips were part of the normal curriculum that the District was committed to provide
students and the trips were part of the normal school term duties that the Grievant was
The IEP spells out that the Grievant was on these visits due to his status as a special
teacher, not just on the premise of chaperoning or supervising. The Grievant arranged the
the higher learning institutions, arranged for representatives to present information to
over this information with students, and presented work opportunities of local businesses
area of the higher learning institutions. Such duties were an extension of the duties he
during the regular school term. Thus, Article X(3), p. 11 of the collective bargaining
The Union is asking that he District provide the Grievant a prorated amount of his
provided in Article X (3) of the collective bargaining agreement for the time he spent taking
education students to technical schools and colleges during the summer of 2002.
The District asserts that the contract clearly allows it to unilaterally establish wage
supervisory duties. The Grievant asked to take his students on field trips to area colleges
technical colleges, and he requested to be paid $14 per hour. That rate is equivalent to prior
performed by the Grievant as an after-school tutor at the District, as well as the rate
past field trips. The Grievant chaperoned and supervised the students on the field trips. The
has the unilateral right to set is own wage rates for such chaperoning and supervisory work.
The District submits that the Grievant's field trips are not extended employment.
occurred after the summer Learn & Earn Program and were not part of the curriculum
program. The Union has shown no practice or other evidence that supports its interpretation
field trip which occurs after completion of a summer course is treated as extended
District has examples of the proper interpretation of extended employment. The Grievant
an extended contract rate of pay for giving an assessment
of the reading level of one of his regular students on July 17, 2002. He also received
contract rate of pay for summarizing the results of the field trips in a report which can be
individual student's IEP. The District paid the Grievant at the rate he requested -- that is not
individual bargaining, since the Board could have unilaterally established any rate, including
rate. Not only did the Board fulfill its contractual duties, but it also went one step further in
the Grievant to propose a wage rate at which to be compensated.
Article X of the collective bargaining agreement states: "All teachers shall be paid in
accordance with the salary schedule. Extra curricular salary shall be paid in accordance with
salary schedule." There is no dispute that the District did not pay for the field trips under
Article X also contains the provision for extended employment. The activity schedule is part
salary schedule. It does not list anything such as field trips. There is a paragraph under the
schedule that states: "Duties such as chaperoning and/or supervising of athletic and other
Board can set its own wage rates but no teacher can be required to work such duties." A
paragraph calls for $9.00 per hour in addition to their regular activity wages for teachers
assigned to transport students.
So the basic question being asked here is whether the field trips fall under extended
pay or fall under the language regarding chaperoning or supervising other events, which
District free to set any wage rate. The Association believes that because the field trips
extended employment, whereby the Grievant was ordered to write IEP's, that these field trips
also be considered part of extended employment. Not necessarily. The field trips were 64
work while the IEP work was less than 2 hours of work. The minimal amount of extended
associated with the field trips cannot turn all of the hours into extended work without some
that these field trips were indeed part of an extended employment situation.
The Association also argues that most of the IEP requires the District to offer a
that prepares the special education student for post-secondary education and/or an occupation.
curriculum includes visiting local WITC, colleges, and universities with a designated special
teacher to provide experiences for possible future educational choices, as well as receiving
experiences in college and technical school visits. However, the Grievant acknowledged that
trips were not part of the summer Learn and Earn program. In fact, the Grievant never
the field trips to be part of the curriculum until he did them and Miller told him to write
That was the first time the Grievant thought about the extended contract pay and whether it
apply to his field trips. Thus, the field trips were obviously not a necessary part of the
The District correctly points out that the Union bears the burden in this type of case
proving that the field trips were part of the extended contract and should be paid at that rate.
with the District that the Union has not convinced me that the field trips were part of an
contract. First of all, the Grievant acknowledged that they were not part of the summer
The Grievant thought of them after the summer program and got permission to take the field
from the interim Administrator, Anderson, who thought he was only approving a couple of
Nobody considered them to be part of the curriculum until the Grievant was paid at the
contract pay rate for submitting the IEP's. Moreover, the field trips fall within the
language under the activity schedule regarding chaperoning and/or supervising athletic or
events. It is a stretch to say that the field trips were part of a curriculum that was never
be done in the summer program, but it is hardy a stretch to say that the field trips were more
chaperoning and supervising other events. The term "other events" is fairly broad, but it is
this is exactly the type of thing that the parties had in mind when they bargained such
language -- an
event that did not fall into a specific category in the contract.
Accordingly, I find no contractual violation.
The grievance is denied.
Dated at Elkhorn, Wisconsin this 12th day of August, 2003.
Karen J. Mawhinney, Arbitrator