By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.
Lakeland Regional Board of Education and Lakeland Educational Secretaries’ Association and Lakeland Regional High School Teachers’ Association
In P.E.R.C. No. 2014-38, the Commission found that the school board violated its negotiations obligation and repudiated the parties’ contracts when it changed health care coverage and did not meet its contractual obligation to maintain health care benefits at a level that was “equal to or better than” the benefits employees had prior to the change in carriers. The Commission will often defer health care benefit disputes to binding arbitration, but in this case the parties’ grievance procedure ended in advisory arbitration.