The New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board has ruled that the Farmington Schools District has violated state labor laws when it outsourced and privatized food services in the district.

"The District's privatization of its food services constitutes an improper unilateral change in the terms and conditions of employment which in the circumstances of this case cannot be justified by the District's managerial prerogative," says the ruling. "The District has committed an unfair labor practice by violating its obligation to negotiate in good faith all mandatory subject soy bargaining and by making unilateral changes in a mandatory subject of bargaining. The District shall take the steps necessary to restore all terms and conditions of employment and otherwise refrain from making unilateral changes in areas that are mandatory subjects of bargaining.”

Farmington had experienced escalating annual foodservice program deficits of $29,000, $69,000 and $77,000 in its past three fiscal years. Following the issuance of an RFP, the district on August 5th contracted with Cafe Services, Inc., to operate the school meal program for the coming year, with four one-year renewal options.