Appeal from the Order of Arbitrator John W. McIlvaine in case of Community College of Beaver County, Society of the Faculty (PSEA/NEA) v. Community College of Beaver County.
Thomas H. M. Hough, with him James S. Ruffner, Craig & Ruffner, and Lucchino, Gaitens & Hough, for petitioner.
John R. DeAngelis, with him Ronald N. Watzman and Watzman, Levenson & Snyder, P.A., for respondents.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judges Kramer and Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 232]
The controversy involved in this case arises out of an arbitration award under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated in September 1972 by the Community College of Beaver County (College) with the Society of the Faculty of that College (Faculty) pursuant to the Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. § 1101.101 et seq. (Supp. 1974-1975).
The specific dispute under the September 1972 contract
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 233]
involved the discharge by the College of two full-time faculty members represented by the Faculty incident to a retrenchment program and the subsequent hiring by the College of part-time employees. The Faculty did not contest the right of the College under the collective bargaining agreement to initially discharge two of its members, rather the Faculty contends that the College must offer the part-time positions to the discharged teachers. The College disagreed and the matter was submitted to binding arbitration as prescribed by the collective bargaining agreement under section 903 of the Act, 43 P.S. § 1101.903.
On April 18, 1974, the arbitrator issued an arbitration award, wherein he concluded that under the collective bargaining agreement, the College was compelled to offer the part-time positions to the previously discharged Faculty members. The College, believing the arbitrator to have committed an error of law in his award, timely filed a petition for review in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County pursuant to the procedure established for review of arbitration awards by the Act of April 25, 1927, P.L. 381, 5 P.S. § 169 (Act of 1927). Uncertain as to whether the Act of 1927 was applicable in view of Pa. R.J.A. No. 2101, the College also filed, as a cautionary measure, an application for review of the arbitrator's award under Pa. R.J.A. No. 2101 with this Court.
Interestingly, the College in its application to this Court under Pa. R.J.A. No. 2101 asserts that the appropriate court to review the award was the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County under the provisions of the Act of 1927. The Faculty answered the College's application and indicated that in its opinion the review of the award was properly before this Court. On May 30, 1974, this Court issued an Order granting the College's application for review of the arbitration award, and in the same Order we vacated the proceedings instituted in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 234]
Unlike the normal appeal, wherein it is the appellee who challenges the jurisdiction of this Court to hear the appeal by filing a motion to quash, the issue of the jurisdiction of this Court is being raised by the party who initially filed its application or appeal herein. Although this Court, in our May 30, 1974, Order, has initially determined that review of the award under Pa. R.J.A. No. 2101 is appropriately here, we believe, in ...