APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon.
RICHARD STENGEL, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE DIXON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This action was brought by a teacher's association and one of its members against a local board of education to prevent the involuntary transfer of the member from her status as a counselor to that of instructor and to require her reassignment as a counselor, a position which she had held for six years. The action is in the form of a petition for a writ of mandamus or alternatively, for a declaratory judgment construing the right of the parties under a collective bargaining agreement. No questions are raised on the pleadings. The Circuit Court of Rock Island County heard evidence without a jury and rendered judgment for the defendant school board denying all relief requested.
The plaintiff, Rita Miller, was a member of the Classroom Teachers Association, a qualified school teacher and an employee of the defendant Board of Education. The Association and the Board had entered into a collective bargaining agreement, articles XI and XII of which are in dispute.
The teacher was transferred from the counseling department to the social studies department (with no reduction in salary). The transfer was communicated by letter on March 29, 1972. Following the notice, plaintiff instituted grievance proceedings after which the Board affirmed its earlier decision to transfer the plaintiff.
Article XI provides that, "* * * involuntary change in employment status * * * shall be for just cause and preceded by
1. Faithful execution of the evaluation procedure and honoring all rights included in this agreement or applicable statutes.
2. Forwarding by registered mail of a written explanation for the action to the teacher.
3. A complete review of the teacher's files by the Superintendent or his designee with the teacher. At teacher's request a representative may be present.
4. If requested by the teacher, a hearing before the board. The teacher shall have the right to present evidence, to call witnesses, be represented. The Board shall have same rights."
Article XII Teacher Evaluation provides "* * *
D. Where deficiencies are observed the teacher shall be notified within 5 working days * * * and specific recommendations for improvement shall be made to the teacher.
E. Evaluation of the work performance shall be in writing.
F. A copy of the written evaluation shall be submitted to the teacher within ten working days * * * copies of any evaluation not directly the result of an observation shall also be submitted * * *.
G. Each observation shall be made in person for a minimum of 30 minutes, conducted openly and with full ...