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Chicago Div. Ill. Ed. Ass'n v. Board of Ed.

NOVEMBER 9, 1966.

CHICAGO DIVISION OF THE ILLINOIS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, AN ILLINOIS NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION, A/K/A CHICAGO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, AND JAMES D. BROMAN, INDIVIDUALLY AS A TAXPAYER AND IN BEHALF OF ALL OTHER TAXPAYERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, INTERVENOR-PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE, AND JOHN M. FEWKES, ET AL., AS OFFICERS OF THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION, INTERVENOR-DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division; the Hon. CORNELIUS J. HARRINGTON, Judge, presiding. Opinion and decree adverse to plaintiff and intervenor-plaintiff affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Plaintiff and intervenor-plaintiff appeal from an "Opinion and Decree," which dismissed their separate complaints, after making findings and declarations of law, the effect of which was to approve collective bargaining by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago with a sole collective bargaining agency to be selected by its teachers.

The plaintiff (Chicago Division), an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, is an association of school teachers and other educational personnel organized for the purpose of representing its members and other teachers and educational personnel who desire it to present grievances to, and negotiate with, the defendant Board of Education of the City of Chicago (Board), regarding working conditions, welfare and professional responsibilities. The intervenor-plaintiff is James D. Broman, a citizen and taxpayer of the City of Chicago.

The intervenor-defendant, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), is an unincorporated association in the nature of a labor union or labor organization. Its members, also, are teachers and educational personnel employed by the defendant Board of Education. It is alleged that CTU has "about 12,000 members who are active classroom teachers in the schools of Chicago."

Since 1964, the Board has recognized the Chicago Division, the CTU and the Chicago Principals Club as collective bargaining agents for their teacher members and other educational personnel who desired one of these organizations to speak for them. With the Board's approval, a "Memorandum of Understanding," which prescribed procedures for the resolution of professional problems and grievances, was entered into with each organization by the General Superintendent of Schools.

In a verified two-count complaint filed October 5, 1965, plaintiff sought (1) both a declaratory judgment to have its "Memorandum of Understanding" (contract) with the defendant Board, dated March 11, 1964, and effective November 12, 1964, determined to be a valid and subsisting contract, in force and effect at least until November 12, 1966, and to restrain the Board "from proceeding with the preparation for and the conducting of the election among its employees, school teachers and educational personnel to determine what organization they wish to have represent them as their sole bargaining agent until a hearing and determination of this cause be had by this Court"; and (2) relief against the "Board's adoption of Resolutions 73408 and 73409 in September, 1965," which resolutions plaintiff claimed breached its contract; and relief against the Board's discrimination reflected by the Board's activities leading up to the adoption of the resolutions and its continued demonstrated prejudicial action thereafter against plaintiff and in favor of Chicago Teachers Union.

The intervenor-plaintiff, James D. Broman, filed a complaint in which he alleged that "as a result of threats and intimidation by the intervenor-defendant, the Chicago Teachers Union, unlawfully to disrupt the operation of the school system by causing an illegal strike of its members, and in unlawful agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union, the Board of Education has engaged in and embarked upon a course of conduct which has required and will require that the Board perform acts not authorized by The School Code or by any other statute of the State of Illinois, and which acts are and will be contrary to the laws and public policy of the State of Illinois and which constitute an abdication and illegal sharing and delegation of their duties as public officials. . . ." Injunctive relief was sought, temporary and permanent, restraining the Board from recognizing CTU, or any organization, as the sole bargaining agent or as a collective bargaining agent for its employees "upon any question upon which power of decision has been entrusted to the said Board of Education by the Illinois State Legislature." Other relief sought included restraint of the Board from "authorizing or holding a referendum or any other kind of election for the purpose of selecting a sole bargaining agent."

Defendant Board and intervenor-defendant CTU filed motions to strike and dismiss the complaints of the Chicago Division and of Broman.

On February 23, 1966, the trial court, after considering the pleadings, affidavits and exhibits, and the briefs filed by all parties, and having heard the arguments of counsel, entered an "Opinion and Decree," which included findings and declarations of law, allowed the motions to strike and dismiss both complaints, and dismissed the cause subject to expressed "limitations."

The findings included:

"2. The Memorandum of Understanding entered into between Chicago Division of the Illinois Education Association and the General Superintendent of Schools and adopted by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago November 12, 1964 is a valid agreement, subsisting until terminated by either of the parties thereto, or by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, after notice given the other party prior to October 1 of any year that it will be modified or terminated November 12 of that year."

"4. Board Resolution No. 73409 of September 23, 1965 authorizes the teachers employed by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago to hold a referendum election at which they may select a sole collective bargaining agent concerning wages, working conditions, fringe benefits, and other professional problems; and provides that regardless of the outcome of the election any teacher may join any employee organization of his own choosing and that persons not members of the organization selected at the election have the right to present grievances and submit suggestions to the Board as individuals."

The order included:

"2. Board Resolution No. 73408, insofar as it provides:

"`. . . that the Board of Education agrees to incorporate in the collective bargaining agreement a provision that on any and all matters which are proper subjects of collective bargaining, which are brought to the attention of the Board of Education or school administration by any individual or organization, the Union shall be informed, and any action or decision on the matter shall be made only after negotiation with the Union,' is without force or effect.

"3. Board Resolution No. 73409 is lawful and is not a delegation, dilution, or sharing of powers delegated to the Board of Education of the City of Chicago by the General Assembly; however, that Resolution may not be effectuated until notice of intent to terminate the existing Memoranda of Understanding has been given by the Board of Education to the other parties thereto.

"4. Any collective bargaining agreement which the Board of Education of the City of Chicago may enter into with an agency representing its teachers or other educational personnel, whether or not with a sole collective bargaining agency selected by its teachers, shall contain specific provisions whereby the employee organization shall agree not to strike, not to picket in any manner which would tend to disrupt the operation of any public school in the City of Chicago or of the administrative offices of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, that the benefit of any and all decisions and conclusions the Board of Education may reach after having negotiated with the employee organization selected shall apply equally to all teachers and other educational personnel employed by the Board of Education; and that, should negotiations fail to resolve differences, the decision of the Board of Education shall be final.

"5. Subject to the limitations hereinabove expressed, the motions to strike the complaint as amended of Chicago Division of the Illinois Education Association and the complaint of James D. Broman are allowed, and the complaint as amended of Chicago Division of the Illinois Education Association and the complaint of James D. Broman are hereby stricken and the cause dismissed."

The plaintiff and intervenor-plaintiff Broman both appealed from the decree and filed separate briefs asserting different grounds to show that the lower court was in error in entering the decree and in not issuing restraining orders.

The record of proceedings in this court shows that subsequent to the entry of the decree and on March 25, 1966, the Board gave written notice of intent to terminate the "Memoranda of Understanding" of both plaintiff and the Chicago Teachers Union and authorized a referendum election to be held on May 27, 1966. Thereafter, this court denied plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the holding of the election.

Initially, we consider whether the trial court was correct in striking Broman's complaint. This raises the basic question of whether the Board may bargain collectively with an exclusive employee representative. Broman contends:

(1) "The central question raised in this Court is whether the Board of Education of the City of Chicago has authority to engage in collective bargaining, and to enter into a collective bargaining agreement, with an exclusive representative of its employees. It is not disputed that the power to do so has not been expressly conferred on the Board by the legislature. Both defendants have argued, rather, that the authority to engage in such bargaining, and to conclude a contract, may be implied from general legislation empowering the Board to contract and to do all things `necessary or proper' for the operation of the schools. Neither defendant has argued that the authority to bargain collectively is necessary to the operation of the schools. Instead, both have argued that collective bargaining is a proper function of the Board, and may be engaged in by the Board at its discretion."

(2) "The courts of this state — like those in a majority of other jurisdictions — should leave to the legislature the many policy questions presented by the question of whether, and under what restrictions and conditions, the institution of ...


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