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Hawaii State Teachers Association v. University Laboratory School

April 15, 2013

HAWAII STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION,
UNION-APPELLANT,
v.
UNIVERSITY LABORATORY SCHOOL, EDUCATION LABORATORY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD, (GRIEVANCE OC-11-24)(2011-013),
EMPLOYER-APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (SPECIAL PROCEEDING NO. 11-1-0411)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Foley, J.

FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

FOLEY, PRESIDING J., FUJISE AND REIFURTH, JJ.

OPINION OF THE COURT BY FOLEY, J.

Union-Appellant Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) appeals from the March 2, 2012 "Order Denying HSTA's Motion to Compel Arbitration Filed August 3, 2011" and the March 28, 2012 "Final Judgment" entered in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit *fn1 (circuit court) in favor of Employer-Appellee University Laboratory School, Education Laboratory Public Charter School Local School Board (collectively, ULS).

I. BACKGROUND

HSTA is the bargaining representative of teachers and other personnel of the State of Hawaii Department of Education in bargaining unit 5. Pursuant to a June 30, 2009 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), ULS became the employer of several bargaining unit 5 employees. The MOA provided that the conditions of employment would be defined according to the collective bargaining agreement between the HSTA and the State of Hawaii Board of Education in effect at the time (Master Agreement). The MOA also required ULS and HSTA to negotiate a supplemental agreement and stated that the bargaining unit 5 employees' salaries would be subject to future supplemental agreements with ULS.

After executing the 2009 MOA, ULS and HSTA engaged in bargaining, and the parties signed a supplemental agreement executed on June 21, 2010 (Supplemental Agreement). Appendix XIV of the Supplemental Agreement states:

2. Designation on Salary Schedule

P Designation: an employee's appropriate salary placement designation (class and step) is made onto the unit 5 master agreement salary schedule. For step placement, parties shall use the attached chart (Exhibit 1) indicating negotiated step increments for unit 5 members.

The Master Agreement salary schedule referenced above identified the different salary amounts for each step but did not provide any information about the teachers' step placement. Exhibit 1, which purportedly contained information about the teachers' step placement, was not attached to the Supplemental Agreement when the parties executed the agreement.

On October 29, 2010, HSTA emailed the ULS principal stating it had "inadvertently omitted 'Exhibit 1' for Appendix XIV. . . . This should be included as part of the [Supplemental Agreement]." ULS's principal responded that the Exhibit 1 attached to HSTA's email had not been formally presented to ULS's bargaining team during negotiations over the Supplemental Agreement's terms. He stated he had assumed that Appendix XIV's reference to Exhibit 1 referred to a salary table used by one of HSTA's negotiation team members during negotiations. During the parties discussions over the next several months, ULS maintained the parties did not reach an agreement as to the contents of Exhibit 1 of Appendix XIV, and ULS demanded further negotiation. The record indicates the parties did not engage in further bargaining. On April 13, 2011, HSTA filed a grievance asserting that Exhibit 1 and Appendix XIV had been bargained in good faith and that ULS violated the Supplemental Agreement by repudiating Exhibit 1. On May 31, 2011, HSTA informed ULS that the HSTA Board of Directors had approved its grievance for arbitration.

On April 28, 2011, ULS filed a prohibited practice complaint with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB), alleging HSTA had engaged in prohibited practices by attempting to unilaterally insert unbargained-for contract terms, in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §§ 89-13(b)(1), (2), (4), and (5) (2012 Repl.), and by filing an illegal grievance disputing the terms of an initial agreement, in violation of HRS § 89-10.8(a)(1) (2012 Repl.). HSTA filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the HLRB denied. The HLRB's adjudication of the prohibited practice complaint was pending at the time of the circuit court proceedings on appeal.

On August 3, 2011, HSTA filed as a special proceeding a motion to compel arbitration of its grievance in the circuit court. On March 2, 2012, the circuit court entered its "Order Denying HSTA's Motion to Compel Arbitration Filed August 3, 2011." On March 28, ...


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