Webster Educ. Ass'n v. Webster School Dist., No. 21687.

CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtAMUNDSON, Justice.
Citation2001 SD 94,631 N.W.2d 202
PartiesWEBSTER EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, Petitioner and Appellee, v. WEBSTER SCHOOL DISTRICT # 18-4 and Board of Education, Respondents and Appellants.
Docket NumberNo. 21687.
Decision Date18 July 2001

631 N.W.2d 202
2001 SD 94

WEBSTER EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, Petitioner and Appellee,
v.
WEBSTER SCHOOL DISTRICT # 18-4 and Board of Education, Respondents and Appellants

No. 21687.

Supreme Court of South Dakota.

Considered on Briefs April 24, 2001.

Decided July 18, 2001.


631 N.W.2d 203
Anne Crowson Plooster, South Dakota Education Association, Pierre, SD, Attorney for petitioner and appellee

Thomas H. Harmon of Tieszen Law Office, Pierre, SD, Attorneys for respondents and appellants.

AMUNDSON, Justice.

[¶ 1.] The Webster School District (District) appeals the Department of Labor's (DOL) decision to require the District to negotiate its reduction in force (RIF) and Recall Policy with Webster Education Association (WEA). We affirm.

FACTS

[¶ 2.] Pursuant to the parties' stipulation, the facts are as follows. WEA and the District pursued a course of collective bargaining for the 1998-1999 school year. Negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful and the District declared an impasse on May 27, 1998. Pursuant to the rules of an impasse, the District implemented its "last best offer" on September 28, 1998. Of the items implemented through the "last best offer,"only the matter of staff reduction and recall are subject to this appeal.

[¶ 3.] As part of the "last best offer," the District removed the previous RIF and Recall Policy from the negotiated agreement and made the policy a non-negotiated

631 N.W.2d 204
board policy. This action caused the WEA to file an unfair labor practices complaint dated February 8, 1999, with the DOL. The DOL found that the District had committed unfair labor practices when it removed the RIF and Recall Policy from the negotiated agreement and unilaterally modified the policy. The DOL stated in its memorandum decision that
Although the decision whether or not to reduce force, or whether or not to recall is a matter for determination by the school districts, and is a matter that should be within the sole discretion of the school districts; the procedure or policy concerning how to reduce force or how to recall, and what criteria are to be used in making these decisions is not a matter that should be within the sole managerial discretion of the school districts.

The District appealed the DOL's decision, and on August 23, 2000, the circuit court affirmed. The District appeals, raising the following issue:

Whether the RIF and Recall Policy is subject to mandatory negotiation as "other conditions of employment," under SDCL 3-18-3.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶ 4.] Our legislature has recently revised our standard of review for agency decisions: "Findings of fact, whether based on oral or documentary evidence, may not be set aside unless clearly erroneous[.]" SDCL 15-6-52(a). Since the parties stipulated to the facts before the DOL, the issues presented to the circuit court were solely legal issues to be reviewed de novo. Sisseton Educ. Assoc. v. Sisseton Sch. Dist., 516 N.W.2d 301 (S.D.1994); Oberle v. City of Aberdeen, 470 N.W.2d 238 (S.D.1991).

DECISION

[¶ 5.] Under SDCL 3-18-3, in order to be a negotiable item for public employees, the subject must be related to "rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of employment."1 In Rapid City Educ. Ass'n v. Rapid City Sch. Dist. No. 51-4, 376 N.W.2d 562 (S.D.1985), this Court further defined the terms and conditions of employment which are subject to negotiation by adopting the three-part test applied by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in In re Local 195, IFPTE, AFL-CIO v. State, 88 N.J. 393, 443 A.2d 187 (1982), namely:

(1) a subject is negotiable only if it `intimately and directly affect[s] the work and welfare of public employees....'

(2) an item is not negotiable if it has been preempted by statute or regulation...

(3) a topic that affects the work and welfare of public employees is...

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11 practice notes
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Town of North Providence v. Drezek, C.A. PC 09-5835
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Junio 2010
    ...This belief has been echoed by state courts throughout the country. See, e.g., Webster Education Ass'n v. Webster School District #18-4, 631 N.W.2d 202, 206-07 (S.D. 2001) (observing school district had sole discretion in initial decision to reduce force); Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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