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12/15/88 Wapella Education v. Educational Labor

December 15, 1988

WAPELLA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, IEA-NEA, PETITIONER

v.

ILLINOIS EDUCATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

531 N.E.2d 1371, 177 Ill. App. 3d 153, 126 Ill. Dec. 532 1988.IL.1812

Petition for review of order of Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. KNECHT and GREEN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ

In July 1985 the board of education of respondent, Wapella Community Unit School District No. 5 (district), rescinded its policy granting full credit, for purposes of placement on the salary schedule, for service in other school districts. In August 1985, the district hired a teacher and placed her on the salary schedule with credit for only five years' service where the teacher had more than five years of service in other school districts. In March 1986, petitioner Wapella Education Association (Association) filed a charge against the district, alleging violations of sections 14(a)(1) and (a)(5) of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, pars. 1714(a)(1), (a)(5)), in that:

"Since on or about September 10, 1985, and continuing to date, the above named Employer, . . . has failed and refused and continues to fail and refuse to bargain in good faith with the Charging Party, . . . as the exclusive representative of its certified teachers, by

Since on or about October 21, 1985, and continuing to date the above named Employer . . . has failed and refused and continues to fail and refuse to bargain upon request with the Charging Party regarding unilateral changes in

Sections 14(a)(1) and (a)(5) provide:

"(a) Educational employers, their agents or representatives are prohibited from:

(1) Interfering, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed under this Act.

(5) Refusing to bargain collectively in good faith with an employee representative which is the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit, including but not limited to the discussing of grievances with the exclusive representative . . .." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, pars. 1714(a)(1), (a)(5).)

A complaint issued but was thereafter dismissed, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board holding that the charge was not timely filed under section 15 of the Act because the violation did not occur within the six months preceding the filing of the charge (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1715). (Wapella Education Association, IEA-NEA, 3 Pub. Employee Rep. (Ill.) par. 1056, case No. 86-CA-0011-S

(Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, May 14, 1987) (Wapella Community Unit School District No. 5).) This appeal followed. I

The district and the Association were parties to a collective-bargaining agreement covering all certified classroom teachers, effective August 1, 1984, to July 31, 1985. On July 31, 1985, a successor agreement, effective August 1, 1985, to July 31, 1986, was signed. As found by the IELRB:

"Neither the 1984-85 or 1985-86 agreement contained provisions relating to rescission of Board policy or credit for service in other districts. Provision 9.1 in each agreement regarding compensation merely states . . .:

'9.1 Teachers shall be compensated by the Board for their services according to their placement on the salary schedule . . . as certified by the Superintendent and their assigned extracurricular duties . . .. Payment will be made in twenty-four (24) equal installments.'" (Wapella, 3 Pub. Employee Rep. (Ill.) par. 1056, at VII -- 161 n.5.)

The parties' collective-bargaining agreements included a zipper clause, which stated:

"11.1 The terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement represent the full and complete understanding between the parties. The terms and conditions may be modified only through the written mutual consent of the parties.

11.3 The parties acknowledge that during the negotiations which resulted in this Agreement, each had the unlimited right and opportunity to make demands and proposals with respect to any subject or matter not removed by law or by specific agreement of the parties, and that the understandings and agreements arrived at by the parties after the exercise of that right and opportunity are set forth in this Agreement. Therefore, the School District and the Association, for the life of this Agreement, each voluntarily and unqualifiedly waives any right which might otherwise exist under law, practice, or custom to negotiate over any matter during the term of this Agreement, and each agrees that the other shall not be obligated to bargain collectively with respect to any subject or matter referred to, or covered in this Agreement or with respect to any subject or matter not specifically referred to or covered in this Agreement, even though such subject or matter may not have been within the knowledge or contemplation of either or both of the parties at the time that they negotiated or signed this Agreement."

See Wapella, 3 Pub. Employee Rep. (Ill.) par. 1056, at VII -- 157.

At a meeting on July 17, 1985, the district's board of education voted to rescind its policy on teacher placement on the salary schedule and credit for teaching experience in the other schools. This policy had stated:

"'Service in other districts will be given full credit on the salary schedule.'" (Wapella, 3 Pub. Employee Rep. (Ill.) par. 1056, at VII -- 157 (quoting article IV, section F, 7(d)).)

After the rescission of the policy, Ms. Hale, a teacher, interviewed for a third-grade teaching position in the district. Hale calculated her credit for previous teaching experience as 13.5 years, or, after subtracting her substitute teaching, as 11 years. Initially, the superintendent and principal did not want to give Hale credit for her master's degree since it was in home economics education, rather than elementary education. They offered the position to Hale if she agreed to be placed on the salary schedule at a bachelor's degree plus 24 (the step below the master's degree), with credit for five years' teaching experience.

On or about July 22 or 23, 1985, Association co-president Bowman met with the district's superintendent and told him the Association was concerned about the district's rescission of policy at the July 17, 1986, board meeting, asserting that the district's action might be a violation of its duty to bargain under the Act. The superintendent took the position that prospective employees for the 1985-86 school ...


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