|By Maria Nagle, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The 4th District Appellate Court, in an opinion filed Thursday, said evidence indicates Unit 5 bargained in good faith and did not engage in unfair labor practices with its bus drivers and monitors.
"We are certainly pleased with the opinion of the appellate court and are grateful for having the opportunity to have presented our case before them," said Unit 5 Superintendent
Lawyers for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees had claimed the district bargained in bad faith before contracting with First Student. Union leaders could not be reached Friday for comment.
"The (Illinois Education Labor Relations Board's) decision that the district committed an unfair labor practice when it entered into a subcontract with First Student for student transportation services is clearly erroneous and must be set aside," ruled the appellate court.
The district honorably dismissed all transportation department employees after the district signed a contract with First Student.
After conducting hearings, Administrative Law Judge
But the appellate court said the "inherent destructive" theory has not been adopted by
The appellate court also noted the district gave AFSCME notice prior to soliciting bids for third-party transportation service and also informed AFSCME that it would consider any counter-proposals submitted by the union.
"The district even told AFSCME what it needed to do to meet the
"The state of
"The evidence is also clear that the decision to terminate the employment of the bus drivers and monitors would have occurred notwithstanding their union activity."
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