Teachers Union Sues Lockwood Schools Over 10 Eliminated Jobs

Complaint disputes claim that cuts were forced by budget constraints

By Molly Priddy

BILLINGS — A teachers union has filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the Lockwood Schools district in Billings over the elimination of 10 paraprofessional positions in May.

The complaint filed Tuesday with the Montana Department of Labor disputes district officials’ contention that the cuts were forced because of budget constraints.

In the complaint, the Lockwood Paraprofessionals Association cites about $86,000 in raises given to administrators and maintenance or custodial staff and other costs.

Teachers union field consultant Scott McCulloch tells The Billings Gazette that the raises indicate to him the district isn’t in financial trouble.

Lockwood superintendent Tobin Novasio says he hadn’t seen the complaint, but he says most of the administrative and custodial raises were the result of restructuring after an employee retired that has saved the district money.

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