Press releases

Federal court dismisses KIPP effort to avoid independent arbitration of teacher complaints

A federal court has rejected KIPP Academy Charter School’s efforts to block arbitration of claims by KIPP’s unionized staff that school management was violating the terms of the contract that covers KIPP employees.

In what amounts to KIPP’s third loss in its battle with its unionized employees, a federal judge ruled Thursday that KIPP could not ask in federal court for something a state court had denied.

KIPP Academy teachers and staff, who are represented by the United Federation of Teachers, told the UFT that school management was not adhering to the terms of the contract that covers KIPP employees.  When the UFT was unable to resolve the issues, it applied for independent arbitration in November 2016, as called for in the contract.

KIPP  then went to State Supreme Court seeking to block contract arbitration proceedings scheduled for June 14.  In November 2016, a state Supreme Court Justice rejected KIPP’s claims. KIPP Academy then took its argument to federal court, where U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts on Thursday also rejected their claim.

In a related proceeding, the UFT accused the leadership of KIPP Academy Charter School in the Bronx of violating federal labor law by actively encouraging employees to decertify the UFT as their collective bargaining representative. In January 2017, the federal National Labor Relations Board agreed to block a decertification vote.

Read the federal court decision »

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