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BROWNSVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. BROWNSVILLE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (09/09/76)

decided: September 9, 1976.

BROWNSVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT
v.
BROWNSVILLE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Award of an arbitrator in case of In the Matter of Arbitration Between Brownsville Area School District and Brownsville Education Association, dated January 22, 1973.

COUNSEL

A. J. Kuzdenyi, for appellant.

Daniel R. Delaney, with him Watzman, Levenson & Snyder, P.A., for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt. Judges Kramer and Rogers did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 242]

This is an appeal from an arbitrator's award which sustained a grievance filed by the Brownsville Education Association (Association) against the Brownsville Area School District (School District), alleging a violation of a collective bargaining agreement (agreement). We affirm.

On February 8, 1968, prior to the agreement in question, the School District established a policy of providing additional payment to teachers for educational course credits earned beyond those required for certification. Under this policy, teachers received fifty dollars ($50.00) for each three credits earned (not to exceed $200.00) over and above the salary schedule then in effect.

Article XII, section B, subsection 3, of the agreement, effective July 1, 1971, essentially provides for

[ 26 Pa. Commw. Page 243]

    a continuation of the previous policy with respect to payment for credits, although it increases the maximum additional payment from $200.00 to $300.00. Subsection 3 also provides, in pertinent part:

"(a) The provisions of this proposal are not retroactive. No credits received before June 1, 1971, will be applicable."

Under the agreement, the School District took the position that while teachers within a step level of any particular salary grade would continue to receive additional payments under the previous policy for credits received prior to June 1, 1971, those who had reached (or who subsequently did reach) the maximum level of their grade could not receive additional payment for such credits. This position was apparently based on the theory that the new maximum salary schedules provided in the agreement were controlling and could only be exceeded as provided by the agreement itself; that is, by earning credits after June 1, 1971, as contemplated in subsection 3(a). Under the previous policy, teachers had received the additional payments regardless of whether they were at a step level or at the maximum level of their grade.

The Association filed a grievance alleging that the withholding of payments for credits earned prior to June 1, 1971, with respect to teachers at the maximum level of their grade, violated ...


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