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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

School's Decision to Outsource Bus Services Not an Unfair Labor Practice

In 2012, AFSCME filed an unfair labor practice charge claiming that a school district violated the Illinois Labor Relations Act when it decided to contract out its school bus services.  Specifically, AFSCME claimed that the decision to privatize bus services was in retaliation against the bus drivers and bus monitors for choosing to join the AFSCME union.  The labor board agreed with AFSCME and found the school district in violation of state labor laws.  The appellate court reversed in Community Unit Sch. Dist. No. 5 v. Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, 2014 IL App. (4th) 130294. 

The appellate court found that the school district had legitimate and bona fide reasons for outsourcing bus transportation services. First, the school district demonstrated that the transportation department had experienced operational problems, including an excessive amount of absences with employees and an increasing number of parental complaints.  Second, the outsourcing would save the district a significant amount of money. Finally, the court found that the district bargained the issue of outsourcing in good faith, as required by the collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the district's decision to contract with an outside company for bus transportation services was not an unfair labor practice. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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