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Board of Educ. v. Bremen Dist. No. 228

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 1, 1984.

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF BREMEN COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 228, APPELLANT,

v.

BREMEN DISTRICT NO. 228 JOINT FACULTY ASSOCIATION, ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. James C. Murray, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied March 30, 1984.

Plaintiff, Board of Education of Bremen Community High School District No. 228, Cook County, appealed from the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County confirming and ordering enforcement of an arbitrator's award made in plaintiff's dispute with defendant, Bremen District No. 228 Joint Faculty Association. The appellate court affirmed (114 Ill. App.3d 1051) and we allowed plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal (87 Ill.2d R. 315(a)). The facts are adequately set forth in the opinion of the appellate court and will be restated here only to the extent necessary to discuss the issues.

On March 1, 1982, the superintendent of plaintiff district sent a letter to the president of the defendant advising her that, because of a projected decrease in enrollment, plaintiff would be required to dismiss 10 tenured teachers. At its meeting held on March 22, 1982, plaintiff's board decided to dismiss eight tenured teachers, and the teachers were notified the next day that they were honorably dismissed from employment. Defendant filed two grievances on behalf of the teachers who were terminated and filed suit seeking injunctive relief from the violation of the public-hearing requirement in section 24-12 of the School Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 122, par. 24-12) or, alternatively, expedited arbitration of the grievances. The circuit court entered an order which, inter alia, provided:

"* * * the parties are instructed by the Court to proceed forthwith to cooperatively expedite their hearing before their mutually selected Arbitrator on the consolidated grievances in American Arbitration Association Case No. 5139039982B, including all issues raised in plaintiffs' 1st Amended Complaint * * *."

The parties selected an arbitrator and evidentiary hearings were held.

Plaintiff and defendant were parties to a "procedural agreement" which provided for arbitration of grievances and contained the following provision:

"The arbitrator shall have no power to alter, add to, or subtract from the terms of this Agreement or require action that is prohibited by law. The sole power of the arbitrator shall be to determine whether the terms of this Agreement have been violated, misinterpreted, or misapplied. The decision of the arbiter shall be rendered to the Board and to the grievant in writing and shall be binding upon both parties."

The issues submitted to the arbitrator were stated as follows:

"One, did Bremen School District Number 228 violate, misinterpret, or misapply in any provision of its collective bargaining agreement with the Joint Faculty Association, IEA-NEA, which provisions are cited in a grievance filed on March 22 and March 23, 1982, when the board voted to give notice to honorably dismiss certain tenured bargaining unit members on March 22, 1982?

Two, did Bremen School District Number 228 violate, misinterpret, or misapply any provision of its collective bargaining agreement with the Joint Faculty Association, IEA-NEA, which provisions are cited in a grievance filed on March 22 and March 23, 1982, when the board voted not to rehire certain non-tenured bargaining unit members on March 22, 1982?

Three, did Bremen School District Number 228 violate the Illinois Code, Chapter 122, Section 24-12 by failing to hold a public hearing prior to the board's March 22 decision to honorably dismiss certain tenured teachers?"

Article XX, section 9d, of the procedural agreement provided:

"If a reduction of tenured certificated personnel occurs, it will be in accordance with Chapter 122, Article 24-12 of ...


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