In recent years, the overall state law framework for teacher-school board collective bargaining has undergone limited revisions. The basic distribution has been that approximately two-thirds of the state laws authorize collective bargaining for public school teachers, with the remaining state laws either silent or prohibitive. During the past fifteen years, a few states have curtailed or eliminated their applicable laws, with the leading respective examples being Wisconsin and Tennessee, and at least one state, Virginia, shifting in favor of collective bargaining.

The courts have added few direct revisions. The Supreme Court’s ruling that agency shop provisions in public sector collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) violate the First Amendment poses an indirect effect in terms of teacher union membership.

The majority of these state laws that provide for teacher-board collective bargaining include grievance procedures as mandatory subjects of bargaining. Yet, despite its importance as the culminating, binding, and third-party step in the grievance process under CBAs, teacher-board arbitration has received scant scholarly attention. Although an occasional study has examined grievance arbitration awards for one or more issues within the public school sector, judicial review of teacher-school board grievance arbitration has largely escaped recent and systematic scholarship.

The purpose of this article is to synthesize and update the previous limited line of empirical analyses of court rulings specific to grievance arbitration under a teacher-school board CBA. The first part provides the legal backdrop for this empirical analysis. The second part reviews the pertinent previous research. The final part reports and discusses the updated findings for the seventeen-year period from 2006 through to the end of 2022.



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