Decision 2803E – Oxnard Union High School District

LA-CE-6627-E

Decision Date: January 26, 2022

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description: In March 2020, Oxnard Union High School District responded to COVID-19 by shifting to distance instruction like many school districts. In October 2020 and March 2021, the District and the Oxnard Federation of Teachers and School Employees signed MOUs addressing the eventual return to hybrid instruction or full in-person instruction. The MOUs established a maximum hybrid class size and gave staff a choice whether to return on-site for hybrid instruction during the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. The complaint alleged that the District ultimately deviated from these agreements, thereby violating its bargaining obligations as to its decisions and/or their negotiable effects. After an ALJ held an evidentiary hearing on liability, the Board transferred the record to the Board itself.

Disposition:  The Board found the District violated EERA when it: (1) unilaterally repudiated multiple MOU provisions; and (2) failed to satisfy its effects bargaining obligations. The Board held that while management’s right to respond to a public health emergency by instituting distance instruction (while bargaining in good faith as time allows) includes a concomitant right to return to the status quo in stages (also while bargaining in good faith as time allows), the District violated its bargaining duties. The Board found that the Federation gave up other potential demands in exchange for what it achieved in the binding MOUs the parties reached many months into the pandemic, and the District could not repudiate its commitments. The Board remanded to the Division of Administrative law for settlement discussions and absent an agreement, a hearing on remedies.

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Perc Vol: 46
Perc Index: 110

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