Mediator to Decide School Officials, Union 403(b) Dispute

July 22, 2009 ( - In Indiana, Tippecanoe School Corp. (TSC) officials and representatives of Tippecanoe Education Association met with a state mediator to discuss an impasse over teacher contract language.

The Lafayette Courier & Journal reported the two parties disagree on whether the district’s new 403(b) retirement plans should be negotiated as part of the master teacher contract or whether the district should have full control over changes to the plans. TSC adopted its provider and plan in December.

The fact-finding hearing with James Dworkin of the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board lasted about an hour, according to the news report. He said he will make a recommendation within a month.

Since new 403(b) regulations were passed in 2007, a number of school districts have seen a backlash from unions over vendor decisions, including Chicago (see Chicago Teachers Union Opposes Move to Central Recordkeeper ) and Baltimore (see Baltimore School Officials Give Thumbs Down on 403(b) Vendor Consolidation ), and districts in Virginia (see Newport News School Employees Howl against 403(b) Vendor Limits ), Minnesota (see Minn. 403(b) Vendor Dispute Awaits Judge’s Ruling ), and New York (see Utica Teachers’ Union Opposes Exclusive Vendor for 403(b) ).