2013 Mississippi Code
Title 37 - EDUCATION
§ 37-9-75 - Strikes by teachers

MS Code § 37-9-75 (2013) What's This?

(1) For purposes of this section:

(a) "Strike" means a concerted failure to report for duty, a willful absence from one's position, the stoppage of work, a deliberate slowing down of work, or the withholding, in whole or in part, of the full, faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment, for the purpose of inducing, influencing or coercing a change in the conditions, compensation, rights, privileges or obligations of public employment; provided, however, that nothing herein shall limit or impair the right of any certified teacher to express or communicate a complaint or opinion on any matter related to the conditions of public employment so long as the same is not designed and does not interfere with the full, faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment.

(b) "Certified teacher" shall mean the following employees of public school districts: classroom teachers, supervisors of programs, librarians, guidance personnel, audiovisual personnel and vocational directors.

(2) It is hereby declared that a strike, concerted work stoppage or concerted refusal to perform lawful duties in any manner by certified teachers against public school districts within the State of Mississippi shall be illegal, unprotected and contrary to the public policy of the State of Mississippi.

(3) No certified teacher, group of certified teachers or teacher organization shall promote, encourage or participate in any strike against a public school district, the State of Mississippi or any agency thereof.

(4) No person exercising any authority, supervision or direction over any certified teacher shall have the power to authorize, approve or consent to a strike by one or more certified teachers, and such person shall not authorize, approve or consent to such strike. No local school governing board or any person exercising authority, supervision or direction over any public school shall attempt to close or curtail the operations of the public school, or to change or alter in any manner the schedule of operations of said school in order to circumvent the full force and effect of this statute. In the event of a strike against the public school, the local school governing board shall continue school operations as long as practicable in order to ascertain which teachers are on strike, and certify the names of such teachers to the Attorney General. Any member of a local school governing board or public school administrator who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($ 250.00) for each day such violation continues.

(5) Chancery courts having jurisdiction of the parties are vested with the authority to hear and determine all actions alleging violations of subsection (3) of this section. Suits to enjoin violations of subsection (3) of this section shall have priority over all matters on the court's docket except other emergency matters.

(6) If a certified teacher, a group of certified teachers, a teacher organization, or any officer, agent or representative of any teacher organization engages in a strike in violation of subsection (3) of this section, any public school district whose employees are involved or whose employees may be affected by the strike shall file suit to enjoin the strike in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, or in the chancery court having proper jurisdiction and proper venue of such actions. The chancery court shall conduct a hearing with notice to all interested parties, at the earliest practicable time. If the complainant makes a prima facie showing that a violation of subsection (3) of this section is in progress or that there is a clear, real and present danger that such a strike is about to commence, the chancery court shall issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the strike. Upon final hearing, the chancery court shall either make the injunction permanent or dissolve it.

(7) If an injunction to enjoin a strike issued pursuant to this section is not promptly complied with, on the application of the complainant, the chancery court shall immediately initiate contempt proceedings against those who appear to be in violation. A teacher organization found to be in contempt of court for violating an injunction against a strike shall be fined up to Twenty Thousand Dollars ($ 20,000.00) for each such calendar day. The fines so collected shall immediately accrue to the school district and shall be used by it to replace those services denied the public as a result of the strike. Each officer, agent or representative of a teacher organization found to be in contempt of court for violating an injunction against a teacher organization shall be liable for any damages which might be suffered by a public employer as a result of a violation of the provisions of subsection (3) of this section by the teacher organization or its representatives, officers and agents. The chancery court having jurisdiction over such actions is empowered to enforce judgment against teacher organizations by the attachment or garnishment of organization initiation fees or dues.

(8) If the court, after a hearing on notice, determines that a certified teacher has violated subsection (3) of this section, it shall order the termination of his or her employment by the public school district. No person knowingly violating the provision of said subsection may, subsequent to such violation, be employed or reemployed as a teacher by any public school district in the state unless the court first finds a public necessity therefor.

The provisions of this subsection (8) shall be cumulative and supplemental to any other applicable provision of law.

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