Robert T. Lear, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Leonard M. Sagot, Randall J. Sommovilla, Philadelphia, for appellees.
Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Pomeroy, J., filed a concurring opinion. Eagen, J., dissents.
The question presented is whether a school district may agree in a collective bargaining agreement to arbitrate
an unsatisfactory performance rating of a teacher. The court of common pleas held that it may do so. We agree and affirm.
The collective bargaining agreement between the Philadelphia Board of Education and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers establishes a comprehensive grievance procedure which terminates in arbitration. Article B-V, section 2f(ii) (hereinafter "the agreement") provides:
"The employee may invoke the grievance procedure if he believes that his rating is improper because of capriciousness, arbitrariness, unfairness, prejudice, failure to conform with prevailing practices for rating, or absence of factual support for such rating."
At the end of the 1973-74 school year, an unsatisfactory rating was filed against Antoinette Milberry, a tenured teacher. On July 3, 1974, Milberry and the union invoked the grievance procedures to challenge the rating. On July 8, 1974, the board informed Milberry that her dismissal was being sought on the ground of incompetency. When the board later refused to allow the grievance to proceed to arbitration, Milberry and the union initiated this action in equity. On January 17, 1975, the court of common pleas ordered the board to submit the grievance to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the agreement. This appeal followed.*fn1
The board maintains that sections 1122-32 and section 510 of the Public School Code*fn2 grant ...