|METROPOLITAN TECHNICAL|||||CASE NO. 246|
|COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATION||||
|COMMUNITY COLLEGE AREA,||||
For the Petitioner: Theodore L. Kessner
For the Respondent: Robert T. Cannella
Before: Wall, P.J., DeBacker and Green, J.J.
This case brings before us the dispute between Metro Tech Education Association and Metro Tech over the bargain ability of "contact time", the time actually spent by an instructor with a student - lecturing, advising, correcting, demonstrating. We find that we have jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter.
The defendant has spent a great deal of time explaining Metro Tech's commendable educational philosophy. This is not the question before us. The question we have to decide is a simple question of law: Do we adhere to our prior precedent in this area, or do we overrule it?
In Seward Ed. Assn. v. School District, 1 CIR 34-1 (1971) we held the school calendar was a mandatory subject of bargaining. In Norfolk Ed. Assn. v. School District, 1 CIR 40-1 (1971) we held school calendar, hours at school and planning time are mandatory subjects of bargaining. Norfolk was followed with respect to planning time in Fremont Ed. Assn.v. School Dist., 1 CIR 50-1 (1972). Planning time and contact time both involve the exact item a teacher is to be doing and the exact amount of time to be devoted to it. After the Fremont case was decided, the Supreme Court decided the Seward appeal, 188 Neb. 772, 784 (1972). In dicta, the Supreme Court listed the right to schedule work as a management prerogative, possibly but not necessarily contrary to our holdings.
If we were to decide the question initially today, we might well decide it differently. However, it seems more important to us that items once decided and relied on for over six years remain decided.
The parties assure us that once this single issue is decided,they can reach agreement on the other matters of dispute.
We hold hours of contact time to be a bargainable issue, and urge the parties to proceed to a conclusion of their differences.