An Unfair Labor Practice Charge will be filed by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). The charge will be filed against the New Berlin School District for firing former New Berlin Education Association (NBEA) president, teacher, and baseball coach, Joe Kindred.
The IEA will also be pursuing disciplinary action challenge to be taken against the current NBEA President Tonya Delaney at the New Berlin School District Board of Education meeting on June 25. “Joe has the full power of the IEA behind him. We are pursuing legal action to make sure actions like this don’t go unchecked,” IEA President Kathi Griffin said. “We believe his termination was unlawful and we won’t stand for it. An injury to one is an injury to all.”
The union had taken a vote of no confidence against former Superintendent Adam Ehrman in October. The board had moved to dismiss Kindred and discipline Delaney. The administration had begun investigations into NBEA leaders shortly after the union had voted. Kindred and Delaney were part of the leaders investigated.
NBEA spokesperson Jennifer Tom said, “Before Joe was my union president, he was a mentor, respected colleague, and friend. Knowing it would be a challenge, Mr. Kindred assumed the role of union president and worked tirelessly to unite our collective voice to advocate for the students and teachers of the New Berlin school district.”
The NBEA represents more than 60 teachers within the New Berlin School District. In the district, Kindred has spent nearly 15 years. He served as a high school math teacher and the baseball coach. The district has three schools and serves 950 students. Tom added, “In my eight years with New Berlin, there has never been a back to school where Mr. Kindred wasn’t there to welcome back his students, ball players, and fellow teachers. His absence leaves an irreparable hole in our staff.”