Decision 2719E – Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High, et al.

LA-RR-1281-E, LA-RR-1282-E & LA-RR-1283-E

Decision Date: May 18, 2020

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description:  Union filed petitions to represent three charter schools affiliated with a charter management organization. The schools refused to grant recognition, contending that they were part of a single-employer and that only a system-wide unit was appropriate. The Board rejected these arguments, finding that the schools’ prior inconsistent statements precluded a single-employer finding on these facts. Board granted the three petitions and certified the union, finding that the petitioned-for units were presumptively appropriate under Peralta Community College District (1978) PERB Decision No. 77

Disposition:  Petitions granted and union certified.

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Decision Headnotes

1300.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; CERTIFICATION/VOLUNTARY RECOGNITION
1300.01000 – In General

The Board must process the petition for recognition that an employee organization actually filed and will generally make unit determinations based on the facts present on the date of filing of the petition. (Pages 27-28.)

1307.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; QUESTION CONCERNING REPRESENTATION (QCR)
1307.01000 – In General/Definition

The Board must process the petition for recognition that an employee organization actually filed and will generally make unit determinations based on the facts present on the date of filing of the petition. (Pages 27-28.)

1309.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200)
1309.08000 – Classroom Teachers

Extreme variation of educational and workplace environments in charter schools does not favor mechanistic application of Peralta presumption and instead requires the Board to ensure that operational efficiency does not trump representational rights. (Pages 30-31.)

1309.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200)
1309.08000 – Classroom Teachers

School-by-school organizing within a group of affiliated charter schools may be appropriate depending on all the circumstances and community of interest factors. (Page 32.)

1403.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; ESTOPPEL
1403.02000 – Cause for Estoppel

Charter schools equitably and judicially estopped from asserting they were part of a single-employer entity for purposes of opposing union’s representation petitions. Charter schools and their management organization had previously represented that they were autonomous, independent entities for purposes of opposing unfair practice liability. (Pages 33-44.)

201.00000 – PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?
201.04000 – Joint, Single or Dual Employers

Public school employers claiming to be part of a single-employer entity in order to defeat representation petitions could not carry their evidentiary burden in light of extensive prior inconsistent statements. (Pages 44-49.)

1105.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE
1105.14000 – Witnesses: Credibility, Cross Examination and Impeachment; Pretrial Statements

Charter schools and their management organization’s prior inconsistent statements in other Board cases undermined their ability to prove they were part of a single-employer entity.