AUGUSTA — Neil Daly, executive director of the Maine Labor Relations Board (MLRB), does not plan to rule before Dec. 21 on whether the most recent complaints of labor law violations filed by the Mount Desert Island Regional School System board and the MDI Educational Association, the local teachers union, against each other warrant an MLRB hearing.
He has already determined that the complaints filed by the two parties earlier this fall contain “actionable claims” and, thus, warrant a hearing. But he has postponed a prehearing conference on those claims, which was scheduled for Dec. 14, until he determines whether either or both of the newer complaints, filed by the two sides last month, also contain actionable claims.
“There is a fair amount of overlap in the facts and law at issue in (the two sets of complaints),” he said in a Nov. 29 email to attorneys for two sides.
“If we assume there are actionable claims stated in either/both (of the latest) complaint and counter-complaint, it would appear to make the most sense to consolidate (the earlier and later set of complaints) for [an MLRB] hearing.”
Daly said in a follow-up email to the two parties on Dec. 2 that he was suspending the Nov. 14 prehearing conference for the earlier complaints “until the sufficiency of the (latest set of complaints) is determined.”
He said that if he determines that the latest complaints by the two parties “allege actionable claims, a single prehearing conference (for both sets of complaints) will be scheduled.”
The school system board and the teachers union are at loggerheads over negotiations for a new teachers’ contract. Each has accused the other of violating state labor relations laws and of failing to bargain in good faith.