Fresno Unified School District v. Fresno Teachers Association, CTA/NEA

6 PERC 13110 (1982)

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Fresno Unified School District v. Fresno Teachers Association, CTA/NEA

California Public Employee Relations Committee
6 PERC 13110 (1982)

Facts

Fresno Unified School District (the district) (plaintiff) was negotiating a second collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Fresno Teachers Association, CTA/NEA (the association) when their first expired. Bargaining sessions occurred regularly for six months until the parties deadlocked. California’s Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) required unions to follow impasse procedures including mediation before calling strikes at public schools. The association declared impasse and requested the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) appoint a mediator. After investigation, PERB twice rejected the association’s request and directed it to resume negotiations. The association abandoned the impasse procedures and called a strike. Negotiations continued, and the parties reached a tentative agreement shortly after the strike ended. Five months later, the district filed an unfair-labor-practice charge claiming the association violated the EERA by striking before exhausting impasse procedures. At the hearing, the association’s chief negotiator admitted he sought a declaration of impasse from PERB partially to avoid a potential damage claim under the CBA based on calling a strike. The negotiator initially thought a mediator might encourage better activity from the district, but given PERB’s rejections and the district’s opposition to impasse, the association came to believe the district would use the impasse procedures to prolong negotiations. The association admitted it probably would not have joined the district in declaring impasse before the strike even if the district had done so. The hearing officer proposed a decision refusing to find the strike a per se unfair practice that violated the EERA. The district appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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