By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
Published Feb. 5, 2020
Vincent Martinez received some good news last week. Following mediation in Boise between Central Idaho Education Association (CIEA) and Mountain View School District (MVSD) 244 and their respective attorneys, Martinez learned he will be rehired by the district. Last year, his contract was not renewed for the 2019-20 school year.
“I’m very excited – teaching kids, that’s my passion,” Martinez said Friday, Jan. 31.
Martinez said following two days of mediation, it was determined he would have a job for the 2020-21 school year. Martinez garnered widespread community support last year when he was reprimanded for speaking out in board and negotiations meetings and then not rehired.
Martinez said he feels opinions he expressed at school board and negotiations meetings led to not only reprimands in his employment file, but also to his contract not being renewed. He taught business technology at Clearwater Valley High School, was the BPA mentor and is also endorsed for social studies, grades six to 12.
“I do not know where I will be or what I will be doing, but I will be a teacher,” he said. “I should have a contract within the next 30 days.”
Martinez said he is “very hopeful and optimistic” with the new face of the MVSD board.
“As tough as it was, both parties showed a lot of willingness to set aside differences and look to the future,” he said. “I think the mediation meetings had a good end result.”
He thanked the CIEA for their support, as well as students, parents and the communities within the school district and beyond.
He said he will be financially compensated for the current school year. In the meantime, he said he will be signing up to volunteer and substitute in the district where his three children attend school.
“It’s hard to put into words how I feel – I will just be very glad to get back in the classroom,” he said. “It’s time to let wounds heal and head toward a stable, healthy environment.”
MVSD acting superintendent Woody Woodford, who attended the mediation in Boise, said a special executive session board meeting was to be held Monday night, Feb. 3.
“Upon hearing and reflecting on Monday night’s update, the board will then consider proposed options and formally approve an agreement between both parties, likely at their regular monthly meeting on Feb. 24,” Woodford said.
CIEA sent out a press release Monday, Feb. 3, that stated they had reached favorable settlements in three lawsuits filed against the MVSD. The settlements include reinstatement and reparations for employees wrongfully terminated or disciplined by the district.
“We are pleased with the result and exceptionally grateful to the dedicated members of the CIEA who fought for truth and transparency,” said CIEA President Char McKinney. “It is in the best interests of everyone, especially our students, that this matter has been resolved and we can move forward in building a more collaborative relationship with the school board.”
The lawsuits stemmed from actions taken by the school board (the makeup of which has changed as a result of the recent election) who were in violation of Idaho bargaining and due process laws. The CIEA believes that the MVSD board is in agreement that all this is in the past and wants to move forward together to get the schools our students deserve.
“This has been a difficult time for our professional educators, and we are grateful this contentious matter is behind us,” said McKinney. “Despite the trying circumstances, our members have remained focused on doing the best job they possibly can for their students. Students have been, and will continue to be, their passion and primary focus.”