in Houston, Texas
College of the Mainland employees’ suit questions whether Texas open meetings law followed
Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012, 06:21PM CST
By Steve Miller
college

The College of the Mainland is accused in a lawsuit of violating the state’s open meetings act by failing to properly note discussion of employee layoffs in the agenda posting.

College trustees in a filing in the 405th state District Court in Galveston earlier this month contend they have immunity from legal action.

The employees’ union at the two-year college in Texas City sued both the trustees and the college in its June filing, asking for a temporary injunction on the layoffs until the court can determine whether the firings were done in accordance with the transparency law.

In a story at the time of the firings, which included 13 full-time employees including two faculty members, the Galveston Daily News reported the union’s complaint about the treatment of the terminated workers, some of whom were escorted off the college premises. The story noted that the layoffs “came as a surprise to many of those let go and were not specifically outlined on recent College of the Mainland board of trustees meeting agendas.”

The observation foreshadowed the legal action.

The union contends that the notification for the April 30 board meeting was not adequate.

The agenda noted the board would be discussing personnel issues, without any note of pending terminations. A meeting agenda a little over a year earlier used the same language regarding what would be discussed in closed session.

The Human Resources Committee went into closed session earlier on April 3 to discuss “possible action on reappointment list (s) professional, administrative and faculty personnel.”

A public hearing on the same day did not mention the terminations.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Comments
Sue Barber
Saturday, 07/28/2012 - 01:26PM

This sounds like what American Airlines is doing...can someone help me obtain legal counsel with American Airlines layoff practices?

sue.barber@sbcglobal.net

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