Lawsuit: Board Claims Victory On Layoffs

From CPS:

Appeals Court Rules that CPS is Not Required to Reinstate Laid Off Teachers or Negotiate Recall Procedures with Union

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Chicago Teachers Union v. The Board of Education of the City of Chicago, the case brought by the Teachers Union last August, alleging that tenured teachers who were honorably discharged as a result of economic layoffs were entitled to recall.

In a split 2-1 decision, the appeals court ruled that the reduction in force remains valid and that the Board is not required to reinstate or provide back pay to teachers who were laid off from June to August 2010. While the court recognized that CPS provided laid-off teachers opportunities to demonstrate their qualifications for existing vacancies within CPS through hiring fairs and resume workshops last summer, it ruled that the Board must issue formal procedures. However, the appeals court held that the district court went too far in ordering the Board to negotiate such procedures with the Union.

The Court emphasized that, under the School Code, the Board has sole discretion to issue recall procedures that would not impose excessive fiscal or administrative costs on CPS. In a dissent opinion, Judge Manion agreed with the majority that the trial court's injunction must be narrowed, but disagreed that the Board had violated the teachers' constitutional rights.

The Board is evaluating its legal options in light of today's ruling.


7th circuit decision.pdf


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  • CTU claims victory too -- guess that means they BOTH won:

    TENURE RIGHTS RESTORED IN CHICAGO:
    Appeals Court Order Chicago Board of Education to Recall Unlawfully Fired Teachers

    Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the U.S. District Court

  • Alexander, I just went into a room away from everyone at my office and read this decision. There is no question that the CTU won, although the dissent by Judge Manion was pretty powerful he did not carry the decision. Effectively Judge Manion supported the CPS position that CTU members and really all teachers in Illinois no longer had property rights in their jobs because of a 1995 amendment to the state law and CPS did not have to establish rules for economic layoffs.

    I would recommend that before people comment they read, or try to read the decision. You can get it at: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?caseno=10-3396&submit=showdkt

    The decision does not require CPS to rehire every teacher fired by CPS for economic reasons, this was not asked for by the CTU. It does require that these teaches be given a very fair opportunity to be rehired. The Court majority writes:

    "The teachers succeded on the merits. The district court's evaluation of the other factors was also sound. Damages would not adequately compenstate the teachers because it wold be difficult to place a value on the opportunity to demonstrate their qualifications for vacant positions. The balance of equities tips in favor of the teachers because they have a substantial interest in remaining employed and requiring the Board to promulagate the rules contemplated by Section 34-18(31) would not impose significant burdens."

    The Court would not order CPS to develop these rules in consultation with the CTU, they can develop their own rules consistent with the law.

    The CTU won the case on its merits and this is an important victory for all teachers in Illinois. I want to congratulate the CTU legal team and the CTU leadership for defending the rights of teachers not just in Chicago, but in the entire State of Illinois.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Thanks Rod, I printed it out and will read it.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Little steps

    The difference between our present union leadership and the former
    Officers are apparent. This time we won, of course the board has to claim
    victory after all the taxpayers money they spent fighting us .
    In the old days a lot of teachers suspected that our legal team
    played both sides and always left the board wiggle room, or worst.
    this time there is no doubt who our lawyers represented. At least
    we didn

  • Responding to No BS, possibly someone I know from the CPS law department? The 7th decision clearly makes reference to Illinois law that goes beyond districts with populations over 500,000, i.e. CPS. There were large principles relating to teachers involved in this case and the CTU legal team did a great service for all teachers in the state in their victory in this case.

    Now as to the issue raised by a poster who stated: "We were promised that we the laid off teachers would get those vacancies before anyone else. We were promised bumping across schools. We were promised that seniority would control layoffs." I am not clear where the CTU made these promises to its members, please give me a reference so I can look at it.

    I have all the filings in the case and do not recall the CTU making such a broad claim, but I could be wrong. It was very clear from the 7th decision that the Court would not have supported any lower court decision that ordered all laid off teachers to be reinstated immediately. The CTU legal team understood this and did not ask for it. The CTU team got as much as it could.

    Now, however, Stand for Children will use this decision as a basis for going back to the General Assembly to change the law. They will want all teachers to become employees at will with no property rights at all. Their proposals will likely not be limited to Chicago. One battle won, many more to go.

    Rod Estvan

  • Thank you Substance for pointing out that the Board hired more than 1,300 novice teachers within 4 months of the so-called "economic emergency."

  • doesnt' seem like much of a win to me for CTU, especially given the deceptive press release.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-fired-teachers-ruling-0330-20110329,0,2399368.story

    http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/03/29/federal-court-sides-ctu-layoff-battle

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Here is a fair headline on the story from the Trib:

    Court upholds ruling on improperly fired CPS teachers

    Important legal principal;s were upheld.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    The biggest stakes in this case were whether or not CPS tenured teachers had property rights in their jobs. CPS argued in a brief dated 10/13/10 as follows:

    "Defendants (CPS) have made a strong showing that they are likely to succeed on appeal. In its Memorandum Opinion, the Court held that Illinois School Code Section 5/34-18(31) creates a property interest and right to some sort of retention procedure for tenured
    teachers in an economic reduction in force. The legislative history of Section 5/34-18(31)indicates that the Illinois General Assembly did not intend to provide such rights. Because a
    conflict exists among the district courts as to the interpretation of Section 34-18(31), and because the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts support the Board

  • No.

    (1) I sign my name to my posts, and (2) I would never suggest the Chicago Board of Education has integrity.

  • Bob is right, as usual.

    Win, lose, or draw, the CTU took action to fight the Board on this.

    I remember a meeting last spring when someone asked what the CTU was doing to help teachers who were being laid-off. Grievance coordinator Colleen Dykas answered that the Union was holding resume-writing workshops.

    It feels much better to have a Union that stands up and fights.

  • in case you still don't have enough, there are a bunch of comments on the same topic on the other post about the CTU / CPS decision here:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/district-299/2011/03/lawsuit-union-loses-case-loses-face.html#comments

    yes, the union fought, which it hasn't always done in the past; yes, it preserved some basic existential tenets of its existence; yes, i am an opinionated b*stard.

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