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Grand Rapids Public Schools

Grand Rapids, MI: (May-30-07) Grand Rapids Educational Support Personnel Association, one of the Grand Rapids Public Schools unions, filed suit against the school, alleging that the school board violated the Open Meetings Act when it invited the owner of a bus company into a closed session to discuss a contract to privatize transportation. Union leaders said the board violated the law by inviting Kellie Dean, owner of Dean Transportation, into a closed session in May 2005, before the board hired the company to bus city students. Following the meeting, the district laid off about 220 union bus drivers, only some of whom were hired by the company. The union has challenged the privatization of the bus drivers on several fronts.

In a settlement reached, the school had agreed to a $600,000 settlement with drivers who alleged the company interfered with their contract with the district. In relation to the Open Meetings Act violation charges, the school board agreed to a $1,000 fine and $6,712 in legal expenses incurred by the Grand Rapids Educational Support Personnel Association as part of the out-of-court settlement. [EVERYTHING MICHIGAN: BUS PRIVATIZATION]

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Published on May-31-07


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