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SCRANTON SCHOOL BOARD v. SCRANTON FEDERATION TEACHERS (11/17/76)

decided: November 17, 1976.

SCRANTON SCHOOL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
SCRANTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 1147, A.F.T., APPELLEE



Appeal from the award of an arbitrator in case of In Re: Grievance of Scranton Federation of Teachers, Local 1147, A.F.T., Case No. 14 30 0918 75 R.

COUNSEL

James A. Kelly, with him, of counsel, Paul T. Burke, for appellant.

Michael Brodie, with him Pechner, Dorfman, Wolffe & Rounick, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 153]

On August 18, 1975, the Scranton School Board (Appellant) and the Scranton Federation of Teachers, Local 1147, A.F.T. (Appellee) entered into a collective bargaining agreement retroactive to September, 1974, providing, in Article 44, that those appointed to the position of "Department Head" for three consecutive years would hold their positions on a permanent basis subject only to removal for good and sufficient cause.

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 154]

On December 31, 1974, appellant adopted its 1975 budget accompanied by a policy statement of the Board action affecting professional employees which eliminated the position of department head as of June 27, 1975.

Appellees filed a grievance on July 3, 1975, protesting this action. Unable to resolve the grievance, the parties, pursuant to their collective bargaining agreement, submitted their dispute to arbitration.*fn1

In an award and opinion dated January 16, 1976, the arbitrator, relying upon Article 44, ruled that Appellant's attempt to abolish the position of Department Head violated the collective bargaining agreement. We agree and affirm.*fn2

The Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. § 1101.101 et seq., better known as Act 195, establishes the statutory framework within which this case must be decided. Section 703, 43 P.S. § 1101.703, states:

The parties to the collective bargaining process shall not effect or implement a provision in a collective bargaining agreement if the implementation of that provision would be in violation of, or inconsistent with, or in conflict with any statute or statutes enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the provisions of municipal home rule charters.

Our Supreme Court has interpreted Section 703, 43 P.S. § 1101.703, as requiring explicit, positive legislation before it will preclude collective bargaining regarding ...


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