On June 19, Rainwater told the Wisconsin State Journal that the district wouldn’t appeal Flaten’s decision, saying, “The standard to overturn an arbitrator’s ruling is just really, really high.”
“It is,” Bob Nadler, the district’s executive director of human resources, agreed in an interview Friday.
The district, Nadler said, filed the suit because Friday was the deadline for filing a challenge to Flaten’s decision, and the district needed to preserve that option in case ongoing talks break down.
The district and union will continue to negotiate, outside of court and the WERC, to seek a settlement, Nadler said. The next session is Tuesday.
Nadler said the suit shouldn’t be viewed as a signal that Daniel Nerad, who succeeded Rainwater as superintendent on July 1, is taking a harder line with the union.
“I think this is just a very specific case that we feel we may have to challenge in the future,” Nadler said.
But John Matthews, executive director of the teachers union, called the filing of the suit “a stupid waste of money because there’s absolutely no way that they can succeed.
Certainly a change from past practices.