National Labor Relations Board Decision Regarding Jurisdiction In Chicago Charter School Union Case

This December 14, 2012, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision finds that a private, non-profit corporation operating a Chicago, Illinois, charter school is not exempt from NLRB jurisdiction regarding the rights of workers and employers. 

The case involves action to form a union at the Chicago Mathematics and Science Academyl, whether the school’s structure and interrelationships with the public school system make it a “political subdivision of the state” or more like a government contractor, and the extent to which state or federal laws and regulations govern the school's interactions with labor. 

The decision reverses the NLRB Acting Regional Director's finding that the school is a "political subdivision", and sends the matter back for “further appropriate action.” The decision includes a board member’s dissent.

Arguments in the case also were filed by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the American Federation of Teachers, among others. A New York Times article in 2011 provides background about circumstances related to the case.