School Bd. of Escambia County v. Public Emp. Relations Com'n, No. CC-245

CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtMILLS
Citation350 So.2d 819
Parties96 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 3052 SCHOOL BOARD OF ESCAMBIA COUNTY Florida, Petitioner, v. The PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RELATIONS COMMISSION and the Escambia Education Association, Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. CC-245
Decision Date14 October 1977

Page 819

350 So.2d 819
96 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 3052
SCHOOL BOARD OF ESCAMBIA COUNTY Florida, Petitioner,
v.
The PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RELATIONS COMMISSION and the Escambia Education Association, Respondents.
No. CC-245.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.
Oct. 14, 1977.

Page 820

Michael W. Casey, III, of Muller & Mintz, Miami, Louis F. Ray, Jr., Pensacola, for petitioner.

Curtis L. Mack, Gerald A. Williams, and Thomas W. Brooks, Tallahassee, Richard H. Frank and John J. Chamblee, Jr., of Frank & Meyer, Tampa, for respondents.

MILLS, Acting Chief Judge.

Petitioner, School Board of Escambia County, Florida (Board), seeks review of an order of the respondent, Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC), which found that the Board had engaged in unfair labor practices in violation of Section 447.501(1)(a) and (c), Florida Statutes (Supp.1974), by (1) engaging in surface bargaining, (2) photographing lawful union activities, and (3) refusing to bargain in good faith on dues deductions and threatening its employees with one lump sum dues deduction. PERC ordered the Board to cease and desist from its unfair labor practices and to reinstitute dues deductions at the cost of five cents per card per month. The Board contends that PERC erred in finding that the Board had engaged in unfair labor practices. We will address each finding separately.

FAILING TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH BY "SURFACE BARGAINING".

On 22 April 1975, the respondent, Escambia Education Association (EEA), was designated as exclusive collective bargaining representative for a unit consisting primarily of teachers. On 23 April, the EEA and the Board met formally for the first time and EEA presented a proposed contract of 123 pages. Meetings of 13 and 20 May produced an agreement on the recognition article and interim dues deductions. No bargaining was conducted from 20 May until 1 July due to the actions of the Board. During that period of time, the EEA placed over twenty-two phone calls to the Board's agents and the chief negotiator's associates requesting that the chief negotiator (Dr. Moses) return the calls. Subsequent bargaining sessions were also hindered by the Board's actions. Although the parties had agreed to certain negotiating guidelines, the Board chose to ignore some of the guidelines and required that certain procedures not included in the guidelines be followed. During the period from 1 July to 23 July, it was found that the Board was unprepared for approximately seven of the nine meetings and late to four of the meetings. The EEA declared a statutory impasse on 23 July.

At the 1 July meeting, the Board announced that it considered a significant majority of the items in the EEA's proposed contract to be nonbargainable. These included school calendars, class size, lunch duty, promotion and transfer procedures, dismissal and layoff procedures, teachers' aides, extra time for extra duties, and filling of vacancies. At no time during the course of negotiations prior to impasse did the Board waiver in its definition of non-negotiability, nor did it offer to bargain about the effects of its "non-negotiable" policies on the members of the unit. The Board also insisted that all proposals were part of a total "package" and could only be accepted or rejected along with the rest of the

Page 821

package. During the July sessions, the Board submitted language on grievance procedures which was accepted by the EEA, and representatives of both the EEA and the Board initialed the proposal. The EEA presented proposals on sabbatical and military leave that were accepted by the Board; however, Dr. Moses would not sign or tentatively agree to those sections because to do so would "break his package". The Board refused to formally agree to its own counterproposals on retirement and insurance during maternity leave because of its package concept.

After statutory impasse was declared, the parties met with a mediator approximately five times from 13 August through 26 September. At the first meeting, the Board's team was approximately two hours late (Dr. Moses never arrived), and was not prepared. The mediator therefore adjourned the session almost immediately. Dr. Moses also did not show up for a mediation session scheduled on 23 September. On the morning of 26 September, the Board presented a proposal touching on all issues it considered negotiable. The EEA was unable to accept the package and declared itself ready to go to the special master.

Between 26 September and 30 October, two special masters recused themselves as prejudiced by ex parte communications received from the Board. At the 23 October meeting, the EEA presented a significantly reworked proposal which included identical language from nine of the Board's last proposals; however, Dr. Moses refused to tentatively agree to those sections because he would not "break his package" and again placed the 26 September proposal back on the table and refused to modify it.

At the beginning of November, EEA attempted to schedule two meetings with the Board. The Board did not appear at either meeting. The parties agreed to a marathon bargaining session from 28 November to 30 November. Agreement was tentatively reached subject to ratification by the Board and the employees in the bargaining unit. The Board approved the contract, but it was rejected...

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4 practice notes
  • City of Miami v. F.O.P. Miami Lodge 20, No. 85-2863
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 31, 1989
    ...140. See also School Board v. Palowitch, 367 So.2d 730, 731 (Fla. 4th DCA 1979); School Board v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819, 821 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977). 5 The requirement obviously extends to the "terms and conditions of employment," a phrase not otherwise d......
  • Palm Beach Junior College Bd. of Trustees v. United Faculty of Palm Beach Junior College, No. AF-17
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 30, 1982
    ...of the right to strike by public employees. For example, in School Board of Escambia County v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819, 821 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977), we observed the constitutional and legislative prohibitions against strikes by public employees were [n]ever intended......
  • The Florida Bar v. Moses, No. 53305
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • January 17, 1980
    ...rise to the ULP charges. That decision was affirmed on appeal. School Board of Escambia County v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819 (Fla. 1st DCA The Bar does not seek to have respondent held in contempt in light of his reliance on PERC's regulation, instructions from the......
  • Duval County School Bd. v. Florida Public Employees Relations Commission, FEA-AF
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 11, 1978
    ...overall conduct of the parties throughout the course of negotiations must be considered. School Board of Escambia County v. P. E. R. C., 350 So.2d 819 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977). Therefore, the determinative issue before us is whether there was competent substantial evidence before the Commission ......
4 cases
  • City of Miami v. F.O.P. Miami Lodge 20, No. 85-2863
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 31, 1989
    ...140. See also School Board v. Palowitch, 367 So.2d 730, 731 (Fla. 4th DCA 1979); School Board v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819, 821 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977). 5 The requirement obviously extends to the "terms and conditions of employment," a phrase not otherwise defined in ......
  • Palm Beach Junior College Bd. of Trustees v. United Faculty of Palm Beach Junior College, No. AF-17
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 30, 1982
    ...of the right to strike by public employees. For example, in School Board of Escambia County v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819, 821 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977), we observed the constitutional and legislative prohibitions against strikes by public employees were [n]ever intended......
  • The Florida Bar v. Moses, No. 53305
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • January 17, 1980
    ...rise to the ULP charges. That decision was affirmed on appeal. School Board of Escambia County v. Public Employees Relations Commission, 350 So.2d 819 (Fla. 1st DCA The Bar does not seek to have respondent held in contempt in light of his reliance on PERC's regulation, instructions from the......
  • Duval County School Bd. v. Florida Public Employees Relations Commission, FEA-AF
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 11, 1978
    ...overall conduct of the parties throughout the course of negotiations must be considered. School Board of Escambia County v. P. E. R. C., 350 So.2d 819 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977). Therefore, the determinative issue before us is whether there was competent substantial evidence before the Commission ......

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