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E. ADRIANS OZOLINS v. DEPARTMENT EDUCATION PENNSYLVANIA AND FRANCIS HAMBLIN (05/10/77)

decided: May 10, 1977.

E. ADRIANS OZOLINS, PETITIONER
v.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF PENNSYLVANIA AND FRANCIS HAMBLIN, PRESIDENT, LOCK HAVEN STATE COLLEGE, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Grievance of Dr. E. Adrians Ozolins; Lock Haven State College.

COUNSEL

Andre Delgalvis, with him Fisher, Rice & Barlett, for petitioner.

Nancy Schnuer, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert F. Beck, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 71]

This appeal has been taken from a determination made by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (Department) that the petitioner, Dr. E. Adrians Ozolins, was not entitled to a sabbatical leave. Interesting questions have been presented concerning the nature of sabbatical leave and the effect of approaching retirement on such leave. Unfortunately, the petitioner's

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 72]

    failure to bring a timely appeal to this Court precludes us from reaching these issues and compels us to grant the motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the Department and Francis Hamblin, President of Lock Haven State College (President).

As a professor at Lock Haven State College, the petitioner applied for but was denied a sabbatical leave by the President. After a grievance was filed with the Department, the Secretary of Education wrote to the petitioner's attorney on June 11, 1976, informing him of the Department's determination which was a denial of the grievance. Article V(D) of the contract between the Commonwealth and the union, Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), of which the petitioner was a member, provided:

If the grievance is not suitably resolved in Step 3 above, APSCUF, but not an individual FACULTY MEMBER, may, within thirty (30) COLLEGE calendar days of the receipt of the written response in Step 3 [the determination of the Secretary of Education], notify the COMMONWEALTH's Secretary of Administration or his/her designee of its intent to submit the grievance to binding arbitration. (Emphasis added.)

In an affidavit, the petitioner's counsel indicates that he called someone at the Department on July 8, 1976 for an opinion as to whether the petitioner was required to pursue binding arbitration rather than appeal directly to this Court. He states that he was referred to a "Staff Attorney," apparently in the Office of Administration, who told him that he must attempt arbitration. On July 9, 1976, APSCUF wrote to the petitioner's attorney, informing him that no arbitration would be requested by the union. The letter indicates that the attorney was notified by phone of the

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 73]

    decision on the morning of the 9th of July. A petition for review of the Secretary's determination of June 11 was mailed on August 10, 1976 and ...


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