D. Shane Jones Wins Labor Arbitration for Illinois Special Education School District

Sep 21, 2012

On August 9, 2012, Arbitrator George L. Fitzsimmons issued a decision finding for the employer, Mid-State Special Education District, and denying a grievance filed by an employee of the District, and her union, the Illinois Education Association (IEA). The employee and the IEA filed a grievance in September 16, 2012, arguing that the District had improperly placed the employee on Step I of the salary schedule following her return to work after a one year absence, when the employee had six years prior experience.

Tueth Keeney attorney D. Shane Jones represented the District at the arbitration hearing and throughout the grievance/arbitration process. On behalf of the District, Shane argued that the grievance was untimely filed and that the District did not violate the contract in placing the employee on Step I of the salary schedule because the employee resigned her position and left the District for a year before returning to work for the District as a new hire. The Arbitrator ruled in favor of the school district and denied the grievance. In so ruling, the Arbitrator held that the language of the collective bargaining agreement, the employer’s past practice, and the weight of the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing supported the District’s decision to place the employee on Step I of the salary schedule.

D. Shane Jones practices in the areas of labor and employment law, education law, and litigation in both Missouri and Illinois. He routinely advises and represents employers in wage and hour matters, in the design and review of employee handbooks, and in disciplining and terminating employees. Shane has also successfully defended employers against discrimination claims, First Amendment claims, Due Process claims, and other labor and employment actions, in state and federal courts.

Shane also practices in the area of collective bargaining and labor relations. He is experienced in crafting proposals and counter-proposals, and in effectively presenting the employer’s position at the collective bargaining table. He has directly negotiated, or participated significantly behind the scenes, in the negotiation of more than fifty collective bargaining agreements under the National Labor Relations Act, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, and in the “meet and confer” process under the Missouri Public Sector Labor Law.

Shane served as a Vice-Chair of the Missouri Bar Labor & Employment Law Committee from 2008-2010, is an author of the “Prevailing Wage” chapter in the most recent Missouri Employee-Employer Law Desk Book, and a co-author of the “Employment Law” chapter in the most recent Missouri Bar School Law Desk Book as well as its most recent supplement. Shane has been a Tueth Keeney shareholder since January, 2003.

Tueth Keeney is proud to be one of the state’s largest Illinois education law practices. The firm has one of the most experienced groups of attorneys in Central and Southern Illinois dedicated to serving public schools. We regularly represent nearly 150 public school districts, including many districts in Central and Southern Illinois. Our Firm is also regularly appointed by insurers of educational institutions to represent districts in complex or difficult cases involving school or civil rights laws.