Appeal of Hollis Education Association, NEA-New HampshireAnnotate this Case
Respondent Hollis Education Association, NEA-New Hampshire, appealed a decision of the public employee labor relations board (PELRB) which sustained an unfair labor practice complaint filed by Petitioner Hollis School Board which ruled that speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists employed by the school district were not members of the bargaining unit represented by the Association. The recognition clause in the collective bargaining agreement defined members of the bargaining unit as "[c]ertified full-time teachers, librarians and guidance counsellors who actively teach at least 50% of their time in the Hollis School District and are employed by said district." The recognition clause did not specifically refer to speech-language pathologists or occupational therapists. Nonetheless, the Association argued that the term "certified teacher" was "broad enough to include speech-pathologists and occupational therapists." It maintains that "[s]ince both job titles teach and are certified, they should fall within . . . the recognition clause." Upon review, the Supreme Court fund that by its plain language, the term "certified full-time teachers" does not include speech-language pathologists or occupational therapists: "neither an employer nor a union can 'avoid the need to satisfy the statutory requisites for adding [a] position to the bargaining unit' by simply treating certain positions as though they were included within the bargaining unit." The Court affirmed the PELRB decision.