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03/13/87 the Board of Trustees of v. the Federation of College

March 13, 1987

508, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THE FEDERATION OF COLLEGE CLERICAL AND TECHNICAL PERSONNEL, LOCAL 1708, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT No.

505 N.E.2d 1264, 153 Ill. App. 3d 37, 106 Ill. Dec. 473 1987.IL.304

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Joseph M. Wosik, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Justice Pincham delivered the opinion of the court. Sullivan, P.J., and Lorenz* , J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE PINCHAM

Defendants, The Federation of College Clerical and Technical Personnel (Federation) and seven Chicago city college employees, appeal an order of the circuit court of Cook County that a clause in a collective-bargaining agreement between Federation and plaintiff, the board of trustees of Community College District No. 508 (the board), was void and that the board's termination of five defendant employees and transfer of two defendant employees was not subject to binding arbitration. The dispositive issue presented for review is whether the termination and transfer of the city college employees was arbitrable.

The board and Federation entered into a collective-bargaining agreement which covered the period 1978 to June 1985. Among the subjects in the agreement were employment conditions, salaries, promotions, insurance, fringe benefits, seniority and longevity (article XIII) and grievance procedures (article IV). In 1982 the board received notice that its State appropriation of funds for the 1982-83 fiscal year would be reduced. This reduction amounted to an unexpected revenue loss to the city colleges of Chicago which the board had not anticipated when its budget was adopted. Letters were sent by the chancellor to employees, including the seven defendant clerical and technical employees, advising them that the chancellor was recommending to the board that their services be terminated. The chancellor sent a second letter to the defendant employees stating that his recommendation for reducing the work force had been approved. Thereafter, five defendant employees were terminated from their temporary jobs and two defendant employees who held temporary jobs were reassigned to their previous career service positions. Unlike other employees who were terminated or returned to their certified positions, defendant employees filed a notice of arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. The board moved to quash service but this motion was denied by the American Arbitration Association. The board then filed in the circuit court of Cook County a complaint for a stay of arbitration and declaratory judgment, a motion for a preliminary injunction, and a motion for summary judgment. The defendants also filed a motion for summary judgment.

The board's motion for summary judgment was granted. The trial court found void and unenforceable a provision of the collective-bargaining agreement between the board and Federation which provided for binding arbitration of the termination of five defendant employees, article XIV(3). The court's order also stated that article XIV(3) was void

"Grievance Procedure

It is the declared objective of the Union and the Board to encourage the prompt and informal resolution of complaints of employees as they arise and to provide recourse to orderly procedures for the satisfactory adjustments of complaints.

B. General Procedures

3. Arbitration

(a) A grievance which was not resolved at the level of the Chancellor under the grievance procedure may be submitted by the Union to an arbitrator for decision if it involved the application or interpretation of this agreement."

Federation and defendant employees contend before this court that compliance with the arbitration agreement regarding the reduction in work force was arbitrable and that the board failed to adhere to the agreement's procedures. We affirm.

We initially note that five defendant employees, Mildred Merriwether, Janis Green, Claudette Smith, Mildred Lathan and Eric Leftridge, were temporary employees and were not certified in career service positions. Defendant employees Sandra Dora and Patricia Burke held temporary positions in which they were not tenured. When the board abolished their temporary assignments, ...


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