The Legal Structure of Collective Bargaining in Education

The Legal Structure of Collective Bargaining in Education

The Legal Structure of Collective Bargaining in Education

The Legal Structure of Collective Bargaining in Education


Figures Preface Introduction Constitutional Rights and Tort Actions The Duty to Bargain in Good Faith Activities of Public Employment Relations Agencies Impasse Procedures The Bargaining Rights of School Administrators The Legal Status of Strikes The Public's Involvement in Collective Bargaining Grievance Arbitration Annoted Bibliography Index


For eighteen years I have been teaching a course on collective bargaining in education. When I first began the course few if any hands were raised when I asked such questions as: Who has been in a strike? Who has experienced a reduction in force? Who has brought a grievance or had one brought against them? Who has served on a negotiation team? Today, when I ask those questions, it is apparent that many educators have been deeply involved in all aspects of collective bargaining activities.

Yet, there is still something missing from my students' experiences. Even though they have been engaged in numerous concrete experiences with collective bargaining, they tend to lack a conceptual framework within which to place those experiences. This lack of context becomes clear when students are asked to identify such concepts as interest disputes, rights disputes, fact-finding, mediation, interest arbitration, grievance arbitration, and ad hoc arbitration. Even today a class could be stunned into silence by the following questions: What are the function and activities of a public employment relations commission? Under what circumstances is a school board or its agents considered to have engaged in a constitutional tort action toward an employee?

Even though educators nationwide have been practicing collective bargaining for a quarter of a century, my impression is that most individual educators have managed to or have had the misfortune to not have acquired an overall framework within which to view collective bargaining.

The first reason for this state of affairs is in part due to the fact that there has not been a concerted effort on the part of teacher training institutions to educate prospective teachers and administrators about collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is most often thought to . . .

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