Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Mars Area School District, No. A.D. 116 December Term, 1973.
Forest N. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman, Assistant Attorney General, and James L. Crawford, Assistant Attorney General, for appellant.
Charles E. Dillon, with him Coulter, Gilchrist, Dillon & McCandless, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 231]
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) here seeks reversal of a decision and order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, setting aside a final PLRB adjudication. In that adjudication, the PLRB had found that the Mars Area School District (School District) had engaged in unfair labor practices under the Public Employe Relations Act*fn1 (Act 195).
The Mars Area Association of School Service Personnel (Union) had executed a collective bargaining agreement with the School District on May 1, 1972 to be effective for the 1972-1973 school year. This agreement covered, among other things, the wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment for 11 teachers' aides who had been employed on a full-time basis during the preceding 1971-1972 school year. When, however, the final budget for the 1972-1973 school year was adopted by the School District on June 26, 1972, no provision was made for the continued employment of the teachers' aides. Their employment status, therefore, was terminated.
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 232]
The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the PLRB which, after a hearing, found that the employment of eleven teachers' aides was terminated by the School District and that they were replaced by unpaid part-time volunteer aides without the School District first having consulted or bargained with the Union pursuant to Section 701 of Act 195, 43 P.S. § 1101.701. Section 701 sets forth those matters subject to bargaining as follows:
"Collective bargaining is the performance of the mutual obligation of the public employer and the representative of the public employes to meet at reasonable times and to confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement or any question arising thereunder and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached but such obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession." (Emphasis added.)
The School District admitted that it had terminated the services of the eleven teachers' aides primarily for economic reasons, but it did not admit that they were replaced by unpaid volunteers. It argued before the PLRB that its action was clearly within its inherent managerial rights and thus not subject to bargaining under Section 702 of Act 195, 43 P.S. § 1101.702. Section 702 sets forth the matters not subject to bargaining as follows:
"Public employers shall not be required to bargain over matters of inherent managerial policy, which shall include but shall not be limited to such areas of discretion or policy as the functions and programs of the public employer, standards of services, its overall budget, utilization of technology, the organizational structure and selection and direction of personnel. Public employers, however, shall be required to ...