Decision 1911E – Santa Clara Unified School District
Decision Date: June 26, 2007
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: The California Federation of Teachers filed a request for recognition with the District seeking to represent a unit of all hourly adult education instructors. The district excepted to the Labor Relations Specialist order to grant recognition of a unit.
Disposition: The Board upheld the Labor Relations Specialist order because there was no other way for these employees to exercise their right of representation. Specifically, a separate unit may be created where unrepresented employees who were excluded from existing units, but would likely have been included in the unit had the issue been before the Board at that time, file a representation petition and the exclusive representative of that unit chooses not to file a unit modification petition.
Perc Vol: 31
Perc Index: 115
1309.01000 – In General/Definition of Appropriate Unit
In order to satisfy legislative preference for the largest possible unit of teachers, the Board established a rebuttable presumption that all teachers were to be placed, prospectively, in a single unit. The Board noted a dilemma may arise when, sometime later, the excluded employees seek bargaining rights through a petition for a separate unit.
1309.02000 – Bargaining/Representation History
At the time of initial petitioning by employee organizations in 1976 there were not adult education teachers, therefore no issue arose as to whether they belonged in a wall-to-wall certificated unit. Since 1981, however, adult education teachers have worked for the District without any representation.
1309.03000 – Community of Interest
The case at hand, the record establishes that there is a separate community of interest among adult education teachers. However, this finding must be balanced against a separate unit’s effect on efficiency of operations of the District.
1309.04000 – Efficiency of Operation
The District does not assert that the additional requirements of meeting with another employee organization would be burdensome. The addition of employees into a unit that does not currently represent the employees may create an unstable relationship the Board has urged be avoided. Coupled with the significant amount of testimony regarding how the unrepresented employees specifically chose a different bargaining representative, a forced accretion into a long established unit may create a destabilizing force neither the District nor UTSC desires.
1309.08000 – Classroom Teachers
Modification of unit to merge class room teachers, hourly adult education teachers and substitute teachers appropriately granted. Features of community of interest discussed. Rebuttable presumption that all classroom teachers will be in same unit. Presumption may be rebutted by showing lack of community of interest or such application would cause disruption or instability within an already established unit.