Brookfield schools’ finances are on the “precipice of fiscal emergency,” the district’s solicitor, David Millstone, said.

Paying teachers and staff money won from a 2006 lawsuit decided in November would push the district over that edge and into the abyss, he added in court documents filed this week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Millstone filed an appeal for the board contesting an order by the State Employee Relations Board to pay teachers the money they had lost since July 2006 when school directors slashed their salaries.

The board also cut unionized nursing and technology coordinator jobs at a June 28, 2006, meeting when school directors Dean Fisher, Joseph Pasquerilla and Steve Varga voted for the changes.

Salaries were cut 3.5 percent to their 2004-05 rates.

Brookfield Federation of Teachers challenged the cuts through SERB, which made its initial decision on the suit in 2007, also in favor of the union, that provoked school directors’ first appeal of the case.

SERB found that board members violated state law when making the cuts. That decision was upheld in the November ruling — the last one the state group is permitted to issue, executive director Sherrie J. Passmore said.

In the latest appeal, Millstone said SERB’s order doesn’t comply with basic legal principles. Cuts made by board members weren’t illegal and their actions were justified, he said.

Pasquerilla said at the board’s Nov. 19 meeting that the district hadn’t yet gotten notification of SERB’s ruling. An agenda from an executive session held this week was unavailable.

Paying teachers would have cost less than the legal costs incurred battling the case, Sally Schneider, union president, said.

The faculty worked without a contract and waited for the ruling instead of going on strike, she said.

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