International Broth. of Firemen and Oilers, Local 320 v. Board of Ed. of Jefferson County

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtWILLIAMS
Citation393 S.W.2d 793
Decision Date04 June 1965

Louis Lusky, New York City, Grover G. Sales, S. Arnold Lynch, Sales & Lynch. Louisville, for appellants.

Lucian L. Johnson, Louisville, for appellee.


Appellee Board of Education of Jefferson County, Kentucky, was granted a temporary injunction in the Jefferson Circuit Court against appellants, certain maintenance employees of the School Board, and their Union, the International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, Local 320. The temporary injunction was later dissolved by this Court. However, by the time that was done, most of the employees who had been on strike had returned to work. As a consequence, any question involving the strike became moot. But, in the meantime, appellants filed a counterclaim and a cross-claim by which they sought to enjoin the appellee from refusing to hear grievances in the presence of the representatives of their choice, and to recover damages resulting because of the injunction. This appeal is prosecuted from the judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court dismissing appellants' claims.

Briefly, the facts leading up to this appeal are as follows: The School Board paint crew was ordered to perform certain work assignments which were objectionable to them. The leader of the crew expressed their complaint to their immediate superior and requested an interview with him and the superintendent of maintenance. The latter two men decided the work assignments were reasonable and so advised the Superintendent of the Board of Education, Mr. Richard Van Hoose. Mr. Van Hoose advised them to dissolve the paint crew unless they obeyed the instructions. The crew refused and they were discharged.

The next day the painters, along with two representatives of International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, Local 320, went to Mr. Van Hoose's office seeking a conference. Mr. Van Hoose was at lunch. His assistant advised the men that he and Mr. Van Hoose would confer with the painters, but not in the presence of the two Union representatives. The painters were unwilling to discuss the matter without the Union men and left the office. They voted to strike the same day.

We do not have before us the basic question of the ultimate power of the School Board over its non-instructional employees. Nor does the principal point involve the broad question of whether a School Board must recognize a Union for collective bargaining purposes. The questin has been narrowed down to a determination of whether the refusal of the School Board to hear grievances of its employees with third party representation is an arbitrary exercise of its power to run and manage the school system.

A school board is granted broad powers in the administration of the school system. KRS 160.290 provides in part:

'(1) * * * Each board shall exercise generally all powers in the administration of its public school system, appoint such officers, agents and employes as it deems necessary and proper, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and terms of office.

'(2) Each board shall make and adopt, and may amend or repeal, rules, regulations and bylaws for its meetings and proceedings for the government, regulation and management of the public schools and school property of the district, for the transaction of its business, and for the qualification and employment of teachers and the conduct of pupils. The rules, regulations, and bylaws heretofore made by any governing body of a school district, or hereafter made by a board of education, shall be consistent with the general school laws of the state and shall be binding on the board of education and parties dealing with it until amended or repealed by an affirmative vote of three members of the board. The rules, regulations and bylaws shall be spread on the minutes of the board and be open to the public.'

Appellants argue that Kentucky Constitution, section 183, which provides 'The General Assembly shall, by appropriate legislation, provide for an efficient system of common schools throughout the State,' is a self-executing prohibition against arbitrary action by a school board.

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3 cases
  • Pharo Distributing Co. v. Stahl, s. 88-CA-0982-M
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 1, 1989
    ...fees are not recoverable. See International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, Local 320 v. Board of Educ. of Jefferson County, Ky., 393 S.W.2d 793 (1965). However, the ancillary grant of an injunction may form a predicate for damages. Stahl argued below that the injunctive relief was not a......
  • Earle v. Harrison County Bd. of Ed.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 24, 1966
    ...of a public school system is committed to the discretion of the school board. International Bro. of Fire. and Oil. v. Board of Ed., Ky., 393 S.W.2d 793. The administrative control of the board exercised under KRS 160.290 must be consistent with the rules and regulations of the State Board o......
  • Board of Ed. of Louisville v. Louisville Ed. Ass'n
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • September 30, 1977
    ...of a grievance procedure was also specifically approved in International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers v. Board of Education, Ky., 393 S.W.2d 793 The grievance of a non-renewal does not take away the Board's power under KRS 161.750 to decide whether or not to renew a contract. It does, ......

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