Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

October 1, 2012
Rocklin superintendent disappointed in retaliation ruling

Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Brown said he is disappointed in last week's Public Employment Relations Board decision that found the school district retaliated against four nurses.

Brown said he will recommend that school trustees appeal the ruling here RocklinPERB.pdf, which ordered Rocklin Unified to reinstate the nurses with two years of back pay, plus 7 percent interest.

Brown said the PERB Administrative Law Judge Robin Wesley "took the latitude to assume what our motivation was and then developed an argument to support her conclusion in spite of the evidence that was presented."

Wesley's ruling, which was reported by The Bee on Friday, found the Rocklin district violated the Educational Employment Relations Act by laying off nurses Jennifer Hammond, Genevieve Sherman, Susan Firchau and Jennifer Bradley.

Brown could not be reached for comment Friday evening and emailed The Sacramento Bee his thoughts on the ruling today.

"This ruling reverses an early decision by the Administrative Law Judge who conducted our lay-off hearings and determined that we did comply with all requirements and processes and could lay the nurses off for lack of funding and a change in program delivery," Brown said.

The Rocklin Teachers Professional Association filed an unfair practice charge against the school district in 2010, alleging the four nurses were laid off in retaliation for asking their union for assistance regarding workload and safety issues.

"We've always been very unhappy with what happened and we feel vindicated," Hammond told The Bee on Friday. "I'm ready and willing to take my job back."

In PERB documents, the district argued that the nurses routinely said no to many requests and claimed their nursing licenses would not let them perform certain work.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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Twitter: @dianalambert

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