Havre Daily News
The president of the staff union at Montana State University-Northern has resigned from his position as the graduate program assistant.
Bob Kurtz, who served about a month as the president of the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union at MSU-N, said Tuesday he “just got tired of trying to work there.”
Student Education Association co-president Karl Lorett said the school has lost one of its “most valuable advisers.”
“I have never seen a question that he couldn't answer,” he said.
University officials could not be reached for comment.
Kurtz's wife, Joanna, retired from the school earlier this year. He said her retirement took the wind out of him.
“When my wife left, the heart of the place just left,” Kurtz said. “I just didn't feel like - I don't know, how do you explain something like that? It's just kind of dead. There's nothing there.”
He had filed a grievance against MSU-N vice chancellor Chuck Jensen and interim dean Will Rawn, alleging the pair violated contract provisions, state law and Weingarten Rights, which ensure employees the right to union representation during investigatory interviews, when they asked Kurtz to take on his wife's old duties.
Jensen denied the grievance on April 7, and Kurtz had said he would forward it to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.
Kurtz said Tuesday he doesn't know whether the grievance will move forward. Union treasurer Patsy Shelden said the complaint is “kind of in limbo.” Vice president Linda Osterman is acting union president, Shelden said, and the organization is accepting nominations.
Kurtz resigned May 12.