Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Chicago Teachers' Challenge To "Do Not Hire" Designations In Personnel Files

And speaking of Chicago (from today's post), the Illinois Supreme Court recently held that the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) did not have to arbitrate grievances over “Do Not Hire” (DNH) designations that were placed in probationary teachers’ personnel files without notice. From the opinion: The Chicago Teachers Union filed a claim with the IELRB that the Board of Education of the City of Chicago (Board) committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to arbitrate grievances over the DNH designations applied to probationary teachers. Probationary teachers were marked DNH when they were nonrenewed twice or who were given an unsatisfactory performance rating, but the school board did not tell teachers when they had a DNH designation in their personnel files. After a hearing, the IELRB found that the school board had violated the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, but the state court of appeals reversed that decision. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, finding that the grievances conflicted with the school board’s clear statutory authority to refuse to rehire probationary teachers, and  the board was not required to arbitrate those grievances under the Labor Relations Act. The opinion has a strong dissent from Justice Kilbride, who argued that the Labor Relations Board’s decision should have given greater administrative defererence, as “the IELRB did not clearly err in finding the DNH grievances in this case arbitrable under [] the Act.” The case is Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago v. Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, 2015 IL 118043 (Ill. Dec. 19, 2015).


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