United College Employees of Fashion Institute of Technology and Fashion Institute of Technology, PERB U-27057
The Board affirmed the decision of the ALJ that FIT violated §209a.1(d) of the Act when it unilaterally changed a past practice of paying day adjunct faculty represented by UCE on the basis of 16 weeks of work, thereby reducing their salaries by one-sixteenth.
Finding that a cognizable past practice of payment for 15 weeks of instruction and one week of registration had existed for almost 30 years established a reasonable expectation that it would continue unchanged, the Board rejected FIT's argument that it had no actual or constructive knowledge of the practice.
The amount in the annual budget represented by the 16th week, the actions of management employees in approving both payroll and the budget along with the longevity of the practice were considered by the Board.
The Board also found that the practice involved wages and the method for calculating the payment of salary, both mandatory subjects of negotiations.
Finally, the Board rejected FIT's argument that the payment for the 16th week, during which little or no duties might be performed, was an unconstitutional gift of public monies.