Finally: Clarification on ECCAT 'Issues'

March 29, 2021Articles

Over the past couple of years, school systems have been faced with several personnel issues related to the ECCAT classification.  Several grievances were filed relating to determining seniority of the ECCAT classification, with employees mainly alleging that seniority as an Aide should serve as the seniority date as an ECCAT.  Most school systems have considered Aide and ECCAT as separate classifications with separate seniority dates, while employees serving as kindergarten or preschool classroom ECCATs are, by statute, also considered multiclassified (ECCAT/Aide).

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently issued a ruling that will put these ECCAT issues to rest.

The recent ruling now provides clarity in that:

- Since the Aide classification and the ECCAT classification each has roman numeral designations within their class title, the four Aide classifications are considered a single classification, and, similarly, the three ECCAT classifications are a single classification.

- The school service personnel classifications of Aide and ECCAT accrue seniority independently from each other, and are treated as separate, distinct classifications.

- A school service employee who has held or holds an Aide title and becomes employed as an ECCAT shall hold a multiclassification status.

Therefore, as we have always advised, school systems should calculate ECCAT seniority separate from Aide seniority for all purposes, including reduction in force, hiring, and other seniority-based determinations.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of Dinsmore’s education law team.