Itasca County District Court File No. C8-01-1947
Considered and decided by Randall Presiding Judge, Harten Judge, and
A party to a collective bargaining agreement cannot be compelled to submit to arbitration unless the controversy to be arbitrated is within the scope of the agreement's arbitration clause.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge
When respondent school district declined to submit to the grievance procedure an employee's contention that she should be classified and paid as a technician rather than a technician's assistant, appellant employees' association moved the district court to compel arbitration. The district court denied appellant's motion holding that the parties had no agreement to arbitrate an employee's classification and pay. Because we see no error of law in this determination, we affirm.
Appellant District 318 Service Employees Association (the association) and respondent Independent School District 318 (the school district) were parties to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The CBA provided in relevant part that
[g]rievance shall mean all allegations * * * in a dispute or disagreement * * * as to the application or interpretation of the terms and conditions of employment as found in this Agreement.
The arbitrator shall not have the power to add to, to subtract from, or to modify in any way the terms of the existing contract.
Jeanne Garner became a member of the association when she was hired by the school district as a technician's assistant, a position compensated at $13.24 per hour under the CBA. Garner contended that, because she was actually performing the duties of a technician, she should be reclassified and compensated at $17.48 per hour, the rate designated for that position by the CBA. In support of this contention, Garner submitted affidavits asserting that she performed the duties of technician and alleging that she had been given an oral promise that she would be promoted to technician after acquiring the appropriate knowledge and training.
The association sought to file a grievance on Garner's behalf. The school district declined in correspondence indicating:
No provision of the collective bargaining agreement even arguably applies to the objections and issue * * *; therefore, the School District will not submit this matter to the grievance procedure. However, we continue to be ...