Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, April T., 1973, No. 993, in case of Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Local No. 3, AFT, AFL-CIO v. Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia.
Vincent J. Salandria, for appellant.
Leonard M. Sagot, with him Thomas W. Jennings, and Ettinger, Poserina, Silverman, Dubin, Anapol & Sagot, for appellee.
Thomas A. Beckley, Thomas M. Hyndman, and Beckley & Grove, for amicus curiae.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Nix and Mr. Justice Manderino join in this dissenting opinion.
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Local No. 3, AFT, AFL-CIO ("the Federation") brought suit against the Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia ("the School Board"), appellant, to enforce the dues deduction provision of a collective bargaining agreement. At issue is the scope of rights accorded to public employees under § 401 of the Public Employe Relations Act (Act 195).*fn1 Specifically, we must decide whether the School Board is obligated to deduct Federation dues from the salaries of teachers who resigned from the Federation and revoked their dues deduction authorizations before the collective bargaining agreement was signed, but after its designated effective date.
The Federation represents approximately 18,000 employees of the Philadelphia School District. The School Board and the Federation entered into a collective bargaining agreement for a two-year period ending on August 31, 1972. Following an oral extension of this agreement to September 5, 1972, the Federation called a strike. The strike lasted until September 27th, when the parties entered into a "Memorandum of Understanding" reinstating the expired agreement until December 31, 1972. The Memorandum stipulated that the terms and provisions of any new collective bargaining agreement would be retroactive to September 1, 1972. Upon its expiration at year-end, the Memorandum of Understanding was orally extended until January 8, 1973. On that date, the parties having failed to agree on a new contract, the Federation again called a strike.
On or about March 1, 1973, the Federation and the School Board signed a collective bargaining agreement for the period from September 1, 1972 to August 31, 1976. This agreement, like its predecessor, contains maintenance of membership and dues deduction provisions authorized by Act 195.*fn2 The teachers returned to work on Thursday, March 1, 1973.
During the January 8th to March 1st strike, approximately three thousand Federation members who had executed dues check-off authorizations prior to August 31, 1972, continued to report for work. A smaller group of employees, numbering approximately 469, notified the School Board that they were with-drawing from the Federation and revoked their dues check-off authorizations. So far as the record shows, no Federation dues were deducted from salaries paid
during the strike. On March 9th, the first payday following termination of the strike, the School Board resumed dues deductions from the salaries of Federation members in accordance with the agreement. No dues, however, were deducted from the salaries of employees who had revoked their dues deduction authorizations, and no back dues for periods beyond the pay period immediately preceding March 9th ...