Is Harford County Public Schools blocking e-mails from the president of the teachers’ union to Harford teachers?
Acting on a tip from a reader, The Dagger contacted the president of the Harford County Education Association, Randy Cerveny, who confirmed that e-mails he sent to teachers through the schools’ e-mail system were suddenly not being received, nor were the e-mails kicked back to him as undeliverable. Cerveny said Tuesday that he didn’t know the reason, and he had received no explanation from Harford County Public Schools.
So, The Dagger contacted HCPS to find out what was going on and why. We got the following response from spokesperson Teri Kranefeld indicating that, among other things, the Harford County Education Association (HCEA) has now filed a grievance over the issue:
“HCEA has specific language written into their agreement regarding communication. The Board upholds and honors its commitments. I have linked the negotiated agreement. The specific language can be found on page 4, item 4.9. In addition, I have learned that HCEA has filed a grievance. We will proceed with the normal grievance procedures but won’t be able to comment any further at this time.”
Here’s the section of the negotiated agreement cited above:
“The Association may utilize the inter-school courier service and the Harford County Public Schools’ e-mail system for the distribution of its newsletter and for membership material. Other materials which have been approved by the Superintendent may also be distributed.”
If the school board “upholds and honors its commitments” then maybe the e-mails were lost unintentionally, the result of a technical glitch soon corrected, and Cerveny’s missives will flow freely again.
Or, maybe Superintendent Robert Tomback hadn’t approved of “other materials” as noted in the agreement, and Cerveny’s e-mails were quietly blocked as a result.
One thing is for sure, Randy Cerveny has been an outspoken HCEA president. On more than one occasion, he packed school board meetings with teachers in red t-shirts asking for “Respect & Time”. Most recently, he objected publicly to the way a proposed 2% salary cut was buried in the superintendent’s budget and he remains a vocal opponent of the cuts for teachers.
This is a developing story.