STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT BRANCH I
CADOTT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION,
The Cadott Education Association seeks judicial review of a decision by the
Employment Relations Commission affirming a hearing examiner's dismissal of the
prohibited practice complaint. This court agrees with the WERC and finds no duty to
the issue in question. Therefore, the petition is dismissed.
On November 26, 1992, Cadott teacher Andy Edgell was paid for Thanksgiving Day,
his sick leave was docked one day pursuant to an unwritten school district policy of assessing
day's sick leave for holidays if the employee missed both the day before and the day after the
holiday. The district also applied the same sick leave policy to days when the schools were
because of bad weather.
The Association grieved this practice, and the district denied the grievance.
Association filed a prohibited practice complaint with the WERC. Following a hearing, the
hearing examiner dismissed the complaint finding that the district had no duty
tobargain with the Association regarding eligibility for holiday
pay. Upon appeal, the WERC
affirmed the hearing examiner's decision.
Is the decision of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission reasonable and
This case is an appeal of a decision by the WERC. Therefore, this court does not try
case independently, but instead must ascertain whether or not the findings of fact by the
examiner are supported by a reasonable interpretation of the evidence. If so, those findings
must stand. The court must also ascertain whether or not the legal interpretation of law by
WERC is reasonable. Although the Circuit Court is not bound by the legal analysis of the
it must give deference to that analysis, particularly if the analysis involved represents a
longstanding legal interpretation by the WERC.
Since 1978 the WERC has held that if a union and employer have discussed an issue
is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining, then the employer need not engage in further
bargaining on that issue during the term of the contract. Janesville Schools,
Dec. No. 15590-A
(Davis, 1/78), aff'd by operation of law [WERC, 2/78]. The WERC relied
upon the holding in
that decision in arriving at its decision in this case.
In this case, the employment contract provides for three paid holidays, Labor Day,
Thanksgiving Day and Memorial Day. The contract says nothing else about holiday pay.
contract also provides that the district may establish reasonable work rules. The
Association has not challenged the rules regarding eligibility for holiday pay as
instead has argued that these rules are a mandatory subject for collective bargaining because
were not discussed during contract negotiations. The WERC found that because the contract
covers holiday pay, and because the contract as a whole permits the district to make
work rules, that the required mandatory bargaining has taken place, and that no further
is required during the term of this contract. A rationale for its conclusion is that although
parties engaged in bargaining on holiday pay, it would be impossible for the negotiators to
every possible situation during negotiations. Therefore, the failure of the negotiators to have
covered specific eligibility for holiday pay is insufficient grounds to require additional
I find that this analysis is reasonable and not contrary to the law in Wisconsin.
the school district may have been remiss for not making more clear its policy eligibility for
pay, this case involves bargaining rights, not fairness. Therefore, I affirm the decision of the
Dated this 10th day of January, 1995.
BY THE COURT
Roderick A. Cameron /s/
RODERICK A. CAMERON