Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Court Says UDC Erred in Firing 125 Faculty Members

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Court Says UDC Erred in Firing 125 Faculty Members

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court ruled late last month that officials of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the D.C. Financial Control Board violated a collective bargaining agreement when they fired 125 faculty members two years ago during a economic crisis (see Black Issues, April 17, 1997). The ruling could cost the city millions of dollars in back pay and severance pay, according to a Washington Post story.

Approximately one-third of UDC's full-time staff was fired, leading to a lawsuit by the Faculty Association, the collective bargaining agent for the university's faculty members. The association complained that seniority rules were not followed and that most fired faculty members were entitled to severance benefits. It also claimed that the control board had no right to interfere with labor contracts.

The three-judge panel sided with the association. In explaining the court's ruling, Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards wrote: "Congress did not grant the Control Board the authority to abrogate existing contracts between the District and its employees. …

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