The Dagger has obtained the following memo to the members of the Harford County Education Association from President Randy Cerveny, outlining the events leading up to the filing of a grievance over the Association’s use of the Harford County Public Schools e-mail system. The grievance was filed by the HCEA with Harford Schools Superintendent Robert Tomback on January 20, 2010. According to Cerveny, Superintendent Tomback has ten days to respond to the filing.
In the memo, HCEA President Cerveny writes that he was notified by the school system on the morning of January 11 that e-mails he sent to HCEA members regarding upcoming board meetings were considered “an abuse of the contractual agreement” between the HCEA and the board of education. Cerveny was instructed not to send any future e-mails without first getting approval for “appropriate content.”
The memo doesn’t offer details of the alleged abuses or discuss the content of the e-mails that triggered the warning. But the board meetings at the time involved budget hearings on a proposed 2% salary cut next year for school system employees. In fact, on the evening of the same day Cerveny was notified of the supposed violations, teachers packed a planned school board meeting and Cerveny and several teachers spoke in opposition to the cuts.
Cerveny’s memo goes on to say that he contacted legal counsel and was advised that his e-mails were not in violation of the negotiated agreement.
On the morning of January 12, the day following both the notice from HCPS and the board budget hearing, Cerveny writes that he was unable to access his HCPS e-mail account. Cerveny then contacted the HCPS Help Desk and was told that his e-mail account had been “disabled.”
Cerveny writes that after attempts to resolve the situation directly with Superintendent Tomback, HCEA filed a grievance.
Cerveny declined to offer further public comment on the matter, citing the grievance process now underway.
Here is the full text of Cerveny’s memo to HCEA members: