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PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD v. WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT (03/18/77)

decided: March 18, 1977.

PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
v.
WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT. WILLIAMSPORT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Williamsport Area School District, No. 75-3390.

COUNSEL

Paul W. Reeder, with him Elliot Newman, for appellant.

Roger M. Simon, Assistant Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman, Assistant Attorney General, and Forest N. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

William A. Hebe, with him Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for intervening appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Crumlish, Jr. joins in this dissent.

Author: Blatt

[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 357]

In 1972, the Williamsport Area School District (District) entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Williamsport Education Association (Association), representing the District's teachers. The contract expired on June 30, 1974 and negotiations on a new contract continued until September 6, 1974, when the teachers went on strike. On October 5, 1974, the teachers still without a contract returned to work pursuant to a court order dated October 3, 1974. On November 21, 1974, a number of the teachers received disciplinary letters for their failure to attend certain meetings which had been held after school hours. A grievance was then filed on behalf of these teachers pursuant to the grievance procedure contained in the expired contract to which the District's representative responded as follows:

I am in receipt of your memorandum of November 27, 1974 alleging a misinterpretation and misapplication of Article XXV of the 1973-74 collective bargaining Agreement. Unfortunately, that Agreement expired on June 30, 1974 and has not, at this time been replaced by a successor Agreement.

It is the position of the Williamsport Area School District that since there is now no contract between the District and the Williamsport Education Association, the District has no contractual obligation to comply with any of the provisions of any of the prior Agreements with the Williamsport Education Association. Therefore, your institution of a grievance under the former Agreement has no standing.

In my letter of November 19 to you, I did make reference to Article XXV of the former contract, but this was intended only to refer back to the time when it was the practice in

[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 358]

    this District to require certain reasonable services and attendance after the 'regular school day' had ended. (The contractual provision to which I referred restricted such additional time to that which was practiced in the 1971-72 school year.)

Under prevailing law in Pennsylvania, and absent any contractual Agreement to the contrary, it has been held that teachers may be required to attend faculty meetings, professional ...


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