JUST CAUSE does not mean “just because.” It establishes standards and procedures that must be met before an employee can be disciplined or discharged. Fortunately for members of MTI’s bargaining units, all have protection under the JUST CAUSE STANDARDS. They were negotiated by MTI to protect union members.
There are seven just cause tests, and an employer must meet all seven in order to sustain the discipline or discharge of an employee. They are: notice; reasonableness of the rule; a thorough and fair investigation; proof; equal treatment; and whether the penalty reasonably meets the alleged offense by the employee.
MTI’s various Contracts enable a review and binding decision by a neutral arbitrator, as to whether such an action by a District administrator/principal is justified. The burden of proof is on the District in such cases.
The provisions of just cause are steps every employer should be obligated to follow. Unfortunately, all administrators do not have a conscience that leads them to follow these principles. However, an MMSD administrator must follow them, because of the rights MTI members have under the Union’s Collective Bargaining Agreements.