AEA goes to court trying to reinstate teacher jobs

The Alabama Education Association is going to bat for teachers who lost their jobs in Summer budget cuts. 99 tenured Birmingham City School teachers and staff members were either let-go or transferred by a method their union says broke the law. The AEA is aiming to intervene in the existing case that named Dr. Craig Witherspoon as the Superintendent and gave the state the authority to take over the board. Out of that came the reduction in force - and that's where the AEA is hoping to step in. You may remember the story from July... "I no longer have a position," Lisa Woolley Thomas, a former employee told us July 24th. "I hardly make as much as it is. They cut us and a {}lot of other ones."{}Teachers, secretaries, coaches, and almost one hundred other Birmingham school employees got the news they didn't want to hear."Myself and my father are on the list, therefore we were both cut," Tracy Weaver, a former teacher said.This afternoon, the AEA went to court to fight for those teachers. It filed to intervene in the case that reinstated Dr. Craig Witherspoon as the Superintendent and gave the state the right to take over the Birmingham Board of Education."The system made a big fuss about cutting at the top," Gregory Graves, Associated Executive Secretary, AEA said. "There were so many employees that were making hundreds of thousands of dollars. But when the proposal went down, these were the employees that were making 10, 20, $30,000 a year.""They include everything from coaches to instructional aids, cafeteria workers, HVAC workers - these are the salt of the earth people," John Saxon, AEA Attorney said.Judge Houston brown decided not to rule on the motion just yet. He doesn't believe it's right to re-open a closed case and he suggested to attorneys to file a new lawsuit."Because they weren't parties they couldn't file a rule 60 motion so there was no way for them to come into the lawsuit at this point and that's why the judge told them go file another lawsuit," Dorman Walker, defense attorney said.Judge Brown gave the AEA 14 days to respond to the objection and at that time, he'll make a ruling. AEA attorneys say if Judge Brown doesn't rule in their favor, they plan to file a new lawsuit.