School District Ordered to Compensate Teachers for Increased Student Contact Time

This is a case dating back to 2007 in which the Association challenged the District’s unilateral decision to increase student contact time by approximately 30 minutes per day, when it adopted a new trimester schedule. The Association argued that the District was required to bargain over the decision; the District claimed that the increase in student contact time was merely an “impact” of its educational decision to change to the trimester schedule. The Association lost before the Employment Relations Board (ERB), but the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the matter back to the Board for reconsideration. On remand, ERB found that the District had failed to bargain over the significant increase in student contact time. As a remedy, ERB required the District to pay teachers $1000 per year for each year they worked under the excess load. For many teachers, this would add up to over $5000 for the extra time they worked.   In addition, the District had to modify its schedule to reduce student contact time.