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02/09/89 Board of Education of v. Educational Labor

February 9, 1989





534 N.E.2d 1022, 179 Ill. App. 3d 696, 128 Ill. Dec. 577 1989.IL.158

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


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


Petitioner, Board of Education of Mundelein Elementary School District No. 75 (District or Board), appeals the revised order issued by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board , requiring the District to engage in mandatory bargaining with the respondent, Mundelein Education Association, IEA-NEA , over the unilateral changes in the teachers' wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment. (Mundelein Elementary School District No. 75, 4 Pub. Employee Rep. (Ill.) par. 1052, case No. 85 -- CA -- 0057 -- C (Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, March 4, 1988).) The District's primary argument is that the revised order is the result of an improper reconsideration by the IELRB of its previous order. The District raises four additional arguments addressed to the revised order. We conclude that the IELRB had no authority to reconsider its previous order. We vacate the revised order and do not address the remaining issues presented in this appeal.

Prior to the 1985-86 school year, the District operated three elementary schools (grades K through 6) and a junior high school (grades 7 through 8). For the 1985-86 school year, the District adopted a middle school (grades 6 through 8) format.

On July 25, 1983, the Board directed that the administration study the possibility of adopting a middle school format in the District. In December 1983, the District's systemwide policy committee established a middle school committee to study the middle school concept. The SPC is a faculty curriculum council consisting of representatives from each school, the learning center area, the special services area, the business manager, the building principals, and the superintendent. The MEA president, Frances Hansen, was a member of the SPC.

The principal of the junior high was head of the middle school study committee, which included several members of the MEA, including Joan Reese, who later became the MEA president. A report from this committee called for converting the junior high school to a middle school for grades 6 through 8. The middle school concept included "as a core component team planning and scheduling."

At a meeting in August 1984, the Board voted to reorganize the school for the 1985-86 school year. The Board held public hearings on the matter on October 8 and October 15, 1984. After these hearings, a report, which summarized the possible alternatives for reorganization, was submitted to the Board and was also given to the MEA. The Board scheduled a special meeting for October 29, 1984, at which a final decision was to be made.

While the meetings regarding reorganization were ongoing, the District and the MEA were in the process of negotiating a new collective- bargaining agreement. Negotiations began in the spring of 1984 and continued until an agreement was reached on October 24, 1984. During this time, both sides negotiated over a maintenance-of-standards clause. While the MEA repeatedly told the District it did not want to interfere with the reorganization plan, it wanted assurances that preparation time for teachers as well as the length of the work day would remain the same. Both of these matters were finally incorporated into the new collective-bargaining agreement reached on October 24, 1984.

On October 29, 1984, the District decided to establish a middle school, including grades 6 through 8, at the then junior high school. The MEA was then asked to become involved in implementing the new school format. In December 1984, meetings were held by the middle school committee which began Discussions involving the new schedules for teachers. The District also met with the MEA president in December 1984 to discuss the reorganization. No bargaining was requested by the MEA at this time regarding any aspect of the reorganization or its impact on the teachers' working conditions.

Proposed teaching schedules were first presented to the middle school teachers in January 1985. However, no final decision on the new schedules was made until February 25, 1985. These proposed schedules reflected an increase of one period each day over the schedule as it then existed in the school.

On March 18, 1985, the junior high school teachers were provided with the final schedule for the 1985-86 school year. During the 1984-85 school year, the junior high school day included seven teaching periods, one of which was used as a teacher planning period and each of which was 52 minutes in length. Each teacher taught five academic classes and a "mini course." The mini courses were intensive, "exploratory" courses scheduled for one week after spring vacation. The 1985-86 teaching schedule consisted of eight teaching periods each day, each 45 minutes in length, one of which was a planning period. Teachers each taught an "exploratory" course, plus five academic classes. The exploratory courses were elective courses, scheduled for one period each school day for 4 1/2 weeks. Most of the teachers in the middle school were assigned an "exploratory course" in the same subject area as the "mini" course they had taught the ...

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