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Three Rivers Education Association v. Three Rivers School District

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-16-2013
Case #: A145227
Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Walters, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Pages/OpinionsCOA2013.aspx

Administrative Law: An order fails substantial reason if finding no causal connection between two decisions while also finding one decision to be the impact of the other.

This case is a labor dispute in which the Three Rivers Education Association (Association) sought judicial review of an Employment Review Board (ERB) order. The Three Rivers School District (District) adopted a common prep period and changed the school schedule from semesters to trimesters. The change eliminated the need for 8-13 teaching positions and increased teacher workload. The District did not notify the Association or make any effort to bargain before changing the schedule. The ERB found that changing the school calendar is a permissive rather than mandatory subject of bargaining under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act, ORS 243.650-243.782. The ERB found no causal link between the changing of the school schedule and the increased workload, but rather that the latter was an impact of the former. The Court of Appeals disagreed and found that the order fails substantial reason in finding no causal connection while also finding one decision to be the impact of the other. Since “impact” necessarily includes causation, the two decisions cannot be independent of one another. Reversed and remanded.