New Prairie Classroom Teachers Ass'n v. Stewart, 4-982

Citation460 N.E.2d 149
Decision Date21 June 1983
Docket NumberNo. 4-982,4-982
Parties119 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2183, 16 Ed. Law Rep. 239 NEW PRAIRIE CLASSROOM TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, Appellant (Plaintiff Below), v. Susan STEWART, et al., Appellees (Defendants Below). A 270.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Richard J. Darko, Bernard L. Pylitt, Bayh, Tabbert & Capehart, Indianapolis, Patrick E. Donoghue, Sweeney, Winski, Dabagia & Donoghue, Michigan City, for appellant.

David T. Bryant, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc., Springfield, Va., Arthur L. Roule, Jr., Roule & Raelson, LaPorte, for appellees.


Plaintiff-appellant New Prairie Classroom Teachers Association (NPCTA) appeals the LaPorte County Court's judgment for defendants-appellees Susan Stewart, et al., (teachers) in 37 small claims actions consolidated for trial wherein the NPCTA sought to collect a "fair share fee" from the teachers who were not dues-paying members of NPCTA.

We reverse.


1. Whether the trial court erred in determining the fair share representation fee clause at issue was not enforceable against the non-member teachers under the Certificated Educational Employees Bargaining Act.


NPCTA is the recognized exclusive representative of teachers employed by the New Prairie United School Corporation (school board) under the Certificated Educational Employee Bargaining Act (CEEBA). NPCTA and the school board executed a collective bargaining agreement for the period July 1, 1980, through June 30, 1983, which provides in part:

Paragraph 1.

The Board and Association agree that all members of the bargaining unit who are not also members of the Association have an obligation to pay a representation fee to the Association, including the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

Paragraph 2.

By October 1 of each year, the Association shall provide the Board with a list of bargaining unit members who are not also Association members, and the Board shall request each person to submit an original individual enrollment form, within a reasonable time. Upon return of such signed form to the Board, the Board will deduct the representation fee in 22 equal installments from the payroll of each person who submits an authorization. Persons who refuse to sign an authorization form or who revoke an executed Paragraph 3.

form have a continuing enforceable obligation to pay the representation fee directly to the Association; however, the employer shall be under no obligation whatsoever to enforce the terms of this Section. (4.6).

The Association recognizes that no member of the bargaining unit should be forced to contribute financial support to political or ideological activities of the Association unrelated to collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment or unrelated to its duties as exclusive bargaining representative.

Paragraph 4.

The parties agree that the provisions of this Article (IV) will not be enforced against any person who initiates proceedings challenging the legality of this Article, or who is a party thereto, pending final disposition of such proceedings, except that the representation fee may be collected by the Board, and held in escrow, provided such employee so consents.

Paragraph 5.

The Association, including the local, the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association agree to "hold harmless" the New Prairie United School Corporation, its School Board, employees, agents and assigns, as to all claims that may arise in litigation resulting from the implementation of this provision or attempted implementation. Said Associations agree to pay all costs of such litigation, including court costs, attorney fees, judgments, penalties and interest. Prior to performance by the employer of any obligation it may have under this Article, the Employer may demand such written security, bonds, or assurances, it deems reasonable, that said Associations will comply with this section, and said Associations shall agree to execute same.

These 37 teachers refused to sign payroll deduction authorization forms or otherwise pay representation fees to NPCTA. NPCTA is affiliated with the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Educational Association (NEA). For the 1980-81 school year, a member of NPCTA paid $198 dues which were distributed to these organizations as follows:

                NPCTA  $ 20
                ISTA   $133
                NEA    $ 45

NPCTA instituted these 37 small claims actions to recover a representation fee of $198, subject to a later rebate by ISTA and NEA in the amounts of $1.40 and $4.63 respectively for political activities. The trial court entered judgment for the 37 non-member teachers...

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2 cases
  • Abels v. Monroe County Educ. Ass'n
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • February 18, 1986
    ...agreements requiring payments to both ISTA and NEA, previously have been upheld by this court. See New Prairie Classroom Teachers Ass'n. v. Stewart (1983), Ind.App., 460 N.E.2d 149, 151; Fort Wayne Education Ass'n. v. Goetz (1982), Ind.App., 443 N.E.2d 364, 373, trans. denied. Other jurisdi......
  • New Prairie Classroom Teachers Ass'n v. Stewart
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • January 22, 1986
    ...Educational Employee Bargaining Act (CEEBA), but on appeal to this Court the agreement was upheld. New Prairie Classroom Teachers Association v. Stewart (1983), Ind.App., 460 N.E.2d 149. The cause was remanded and judgment was entered against each teacher in the amount of $190.16. Appealing......

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