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03/08/76 FERNDALE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION v. SCHOOL

March 8, 1976

FERNDALE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE CITY OF FERNDALE #1



Appeal from Oakland, William P. Hampton, J.

McGregor, P. J., and T. M. Burns and N. J. Kaufman, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Arbitration and Award -- Labor Relations -- Judicial Review -- Authority of Arbitrator -- Recognized Exceptions.

The merits of a grievance or an arbitration award are irrelevant when a court is asked to enforce an arbitration agreement or award thereunder, judicial review is limited to whether the award was within the authority conferred upon the arbitrator by the collective bargaining agreement, and once substantive arbitrability is determined, and no situation is presented which comes within the recognized exceptions to the rule of judicial deference to the decision of the arbitrator, judicial review effectively ceases.

2. Schools and School Districts -- Statutes -- Teachers' Tenure -- School Boards.

Tenured status of a teacher is granted by statute, not by a school board; it is only when the board acts to withhold tenure that it has control over the acquisition of tenure (MCLA 38.83; MSA 15.1983).

3. Arbitration and Award -- Schools and School Districts -- Arbitrators -- Reinstatements -- Improper Dismissal.

An arbitrator may order a teacher reinstated because of improper dismissal even where the reinstatement results in her acquiring tenured status by statute.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burns

Complaint by the Ferndale Education Association and Lynn Schuneman against the School District for the City of Ferndale seeking a writ of mandamus compelling the school district to honor an arbitrator's award. Judgment for defendant. Plaintiffs appeal.

Plaintiffs Ferndale Education Association (hereinafter FEA) and Lynn Schuneman sought a writ of mandamus compelling the defendant school district (hereinafter the Board) to honor an arbitrator's award. The trial court denied the writ. Plaintiffs appeal as of right.

The FEA is the exclusive bargaining agent for the teachers in the Ferndale School District. The Board operates and manages the public schools in the Ferndale School District. Lynn Schuneman was a probationary teacher hired by the Board for the 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1972-73 school years. After her second year, she was not tenured but placed on another year's probation as authorized by MCLA 38.82; MSA 15.1982. At the end of that additional year, she could only have been tenured or dismissed.

During her third year of teaching, Schuneman received evaluations regarding her classroom performance; these evaluations generally stated that she needed improvement in maintaining classroom discipline. She was formally evaluated on November 20, 1972, and March 13, 1973, receiving written notice and an opportunity to respond. She was informally evaluated in February and March of 1973, by her principal and assistant principal. Her inability to control her class was discussed and attempts were made to assist her in improving. Later concluding that the problem had not been corrected, the principal recommended to the Board that Schuneman not be rehired for the upcoming school year.

The contract entered into between the FEA and the Board provided for notification of teachers if they were not to be rehired. This was provided for in article ...


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