An arbitrator will be asked to study a grievance between Granite School District and a group of teachers who say their contracts are in jeopardy because they share teaching responsibilities.

Riley O'Neil, assistant Granite District superintendent, said the district has rejected a request to reconsider its move to surplus seven teachers who share teaching contracts. The teachers feel they are being discriminated against because of their part-time status.District officials have said it is not their intent to do away with the shared contracts, but that the part-time teachers have signed agreements that they would be let go before full-time teachers.

Granite Education Association leaders, who are representing the teachers, contend that the district has no authority to ask the shared-contract teachers to sign such a document. The agreement between the union and the district, which grants all teachers seniority protection, cannot be superseded by any other agreement, they say.

The district's refusal moved the grievance resolution to a third level in which a third party is asked to study the issues, he said. The arbitration is not binding.

GEA President Allen Rasmussen said the union is prepared to fight the matter "to the bitter end."