A federal appeals court has ruled that a Louisiana charter school operator is not a political subdivision of the state, lending support to a decision of the National Labor Relations Board that the operator committed an unfair labor practice by not recognizing and bargaining with a teachers’ union.
The unanimous decision is potentially significant nationally amid efforts to unionize teachers and other employees at charter schools.
The panel stressed that its decision, involving a charter school run by a group called Voices for International Business and Education, was based on its interpretation of Louisiana’s charter school law and that the NRLB has found charter operators in at least one state—Texas—to be political subdivisions of the state.
The United Teachers of New Orleans petitioned the NLRB to organize Voices employees, and the board agreed that Voices was not a political subdivision and thus its employees could be organized under the federal labor statute. The employees voted to join the union, but Voices refused to recognize the bargaining unit.
A version of this article appeared in the October 03, 2018 edition of Education Week as Appeals Court Backs NLRB Ruling On Unionization of La. Charter