EVALUATION ULP Hearing Officer's Recommendation

Today we received the Hearing Officer's recommendation on the Unfair labor Practice charge CTA filed in 2018 against the District regarding refusing to bargain evaluations.   You can read it at THIS LINK.

CTA filed the ULP because the District pretended to be bargaining changes of all aspects of  the evaluation system but  created their own unilateral version and refused to bargain, claiming management rights.

From the ULP:

"SUPPLEMENTAL CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. OCCTA’s refusal to bargain charge and unilateral change charge were timely filed.

2. The School District violated section 447.501(1)(a) and (c), Florida Statutes, by refusing to bargain collectively.

3. The School District violated section 447.501(1)(a) and (c), Florida Statutes, by unilaterally imposing the evaluation system present in this case.

4. OCCTA is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for litigating the refusal to bargain charge.

5. OCCTA is not entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for litigating the unilateral change charge.

6. The School District is not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees and costs of litigation.

From the recommendation:

In order to effectuate the purposes of Chapter 447, Part II, I recommend that the Commission adopt the findings of fact and conclusions of law set forth above, and enter an order requiring the School District to:

  1. Cease and desist from:  (a) Refusing to bargain with the Union over its evaluation system, which includes the evaluation system, the elements, protocols and scales; (b) Unilaterally imposing any portion of the May 23, 2018, teacher evaluation system; and (c) In any like or related manner, interfering with, restraining, or coercing public employees in the exercise of any right guaranteed them under Chapter 447, Part II, Florida Statutes (2020).
  2. Take the following affirmative action: (a) Upon request, meet with the representatives of the Union for the purposes of collective bargaining concerning the teacher evaluation system and any other mandatory terms of collective bargaining; (b) Rescind any portions of the May 23, 2018, evaluation system that it imposed; (c) Pay to the Union its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of litigation for the refusal to bargain charge; and (d) Post a Notice to Employees, which will be issued by the Commission.

This recommendation will be reviewed by the PERC Commission. We fully expect the District to follow its pattern of appealing any ruling favorable to OCCTA.  Still, we consider this a victory. 

This ULP took weeks of work and the testimony of courageous teachers and staff.  The hearing officer stated, "I find Andrea Bowles, Albert Davies, Matthew Hazel, Karen Salter, and Michelle Vanderley credible witnesses. They responded to questions in a straightforward, candid manner." He also stated, "I find Wendy Doromal and Maribel Rigsby credible witnesses. They responded to questions from both parties in a straightforward, candid manner."   Thank you all of the witnesses and to our attorney, Tobe Lev.