APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
JEFFREY EARLE COMPTON et al., Respondents
(The Illinois Educational Labor
Relations Board, Intervenor
Nos. 4-86-0427, 4-86-0475 cons.
510 N.E.2d 508, 157 Ill. App. 3d 439, 109 Ill. Dec. 640 1987.IL.884
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Coles County; the Hon. Joseph C. Moore, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. JUSTICE LUND, specially Concurring. JUSTICE GREEN, Dissenting.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ
Petitioner, board of education of Community School District No. 1 (District No. 1), and respondent, Charleston Education Association (Association), had entered into a collective-bargaining agreement in March 1984. Under this agreement District No. 1 recognized the Association as the exclusive bargaining representative of District No. 1's certified teaching personnel and the agreement provided certain procedures for the evaluation and termination of teachers and a grievance-arbitration procedure for resolving disputes concerning alleged violations of the agreement.
District No. 1 terminated Compton's employment as a teacher at the Conclusion of the 1983-84 school year without following the requirements of the collective-bargaining agreement. Compton was a first-year non-tenured teacher at the time of dismissal. The Association filed a written grievance on behalf of Compton contending a violation of the bargaining agreement. The grievance was submitted to binding arbitration and the arbitrator ruled in favor of the Association and Compton and ordered Compton reinstated with full back wages and other benefits.
District No. 1 refused to comply with the award and filed a petition to set aside and vacate the award in the circuit court. The Association and Compton petitioned the circuit court to confirm the award and enter judgment accordingly. Subsequently, both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of District No. 1 and vacated the arbitration award. The Association and Compton moved for a reconsideration of the trial court's judgment alleging lack of jurisdiction in the circuit court. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (Board) filed a motion to intervene and a motion to dismiss or in the alternative to reconsider. The circuit court allowed the Board to intervene.
In June 1986, the circuit court denied the Association's motion for reconsideration and the Board's motion to dismiss or reconsider. The Association, Compton, and the Board filed a timely notice of appeal.
On appeal, Compton, the Association and the Board contend the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over actions seeking to vacate or enforce arbitration awards involving educational employers and unions representing teachers. We agree.
In 1983, the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, pars. 1071 through 1721) was enacted, becoming effective January 1, 1984. The Act was a major change in school labor law, permitting collective bargaining and allowing, with certain limitation, the right to strike. The policy stated for the enactment is set forth in section 1, and, in part, provides:
"It is the public policy of this State and the purpose of this Act to promote orderly and constructive relationships between all educational employees and their employers. Unresolved disputes between the educational employees and their employers are injurious to the public, and the General Assembly is therefore aware that adequate means must be established for minimizing them and providing for their resolution." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1701.
We are aware, as is the general public, of the problem created by the strikes affecting public education. In Illinois, such walkouts were illegal, being against public policy. The continuation of these strikes, often in violation of court orders, coupled with conflicts between interests in collective bargaining and issues of delegability, was of great concern to all and was the impetus for the legislative action. We must consider the reasoning for the enactment in determining the extent of its application.
The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act provides for employee organizational rights and the selection of an employee representative. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1703.) Employer rights, limiting certain areas from bargaining, and an obligation to "bargain collectively with regard to policy matters directly affecting wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment as well as the impact thereon" are created. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1704.) The Board was established, given subpoena power, and mandated to "adopt, promulgate, amend or rescind rules and regulations in accordance with 'The Illinois Administrative Procedure Act'" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1705(h)). The requirement of recognition of the bargaining agent is created (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1707), and the method of selection of the representative by secret election is ...