Board of Education of City of Chicago v. IELRB - Student Records / Labor Relations
In a December 2013 decision, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois limited a union's ability to request information about students as a part of the duty to bargain in good faith. Educational employers' statutory duty to bargain in good faith includes an obligation on the part of the employer to provide the union with information upon request. Although an educational employer has a duty to provide a union with relevant information upon request, as part of the employer's statutory duty to bargain in good faith, even relevant information may be withheld where the employer asserts an affirmative defense to production, such as confidentiality concerns or the need for employee privacy.
In this case, the City of Chicago Board of Education petitioned for review of an order of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), which determined that the board of education committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to provide the school service employees union, which was the designated bargaining representative of a union member terminated as a result of his physical altercations with two students, student disciplinary records that union had requested for use during the terminated union member's grievance proceeding.
The Court held that disciplinary records of two students who had been involved in an altercation with the terminated union member were "school student records," such that the records were protected from disclosure under the Illinois School Student Records Act during the terminated employee's grievance arbitration proceeding, and that the provision of the Student Records Act prohibiting disclosure of school student records did not conflict with the provision of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act requiring educational employers to provide the union with relevant requested information as part of its duty to bargain in good faith.
You can view the full decision of the First District Appellate Court by following the link here: Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago v. Illinois Educ. Labor Relations Bd., 2013 IL App (1st) 122447
*Special thanks from the attorneys at Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd. to Donna M. Davis, who contributed substantial work to the research and drafting of several of the articles in this month's newsletter.