Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in case of In Re: Appeal of Vera E. Jones -- Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Butler Education Association and Jack I. Lenavitt, No. 75-971.
Raymond W. Cromer, with him James F. Wildeman and Forest N. Myers, for Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
Thomas A. Beckley, with him Craig W. Bremer, Bradley S. Gelder, and, of counsel, Beckley & Madden; Lee C. McCandless; McCandless, Chew & Krizner, for Butler Education Association and Jack I. Lenavitt.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 550]
These consolidated appeals arise from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County sustaining appellee's charge that the Butler Education Association (Association) and its agent engaged in unfair practices and enjoining them from pursuing arbitration
[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 551]
seeking appellee's discharge for failure to pay union dues. Because arbitration was the proper remedy, we must reverse.
The Association and the Butler Area School District (District) executed a collective bargaining agreement on October 8, 1973, for the years 1973-1975. Included in Appendix "B," Article XII of the agreement was a maintenance of membership clause which reads:
Section 2. All employees who are members of the Association on October 1, 1973 and all employees who thereafter join the Association shall, as a condition of employment, maintain their membership in the Association during the term of this agreement. . . .
Appellee, a professional employee of the District and a member of the Association for the year 1972-1973, refused to pay her membership dues for the year 1973-1974 contending that she had resigned from the employee organization. On May 9, 1974, the Association filed a grievance seeking to have appellee discharged for failure to maintain her union membership. The grievance was denied by the District at all four steps of the grievance procedure. The Association elected to proceed to binding arbitration pursuant to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and a hearing was scheduled for October 28, 1974.
On October 25, 1974, three days before the arbitration hearing was scheduled, appellee filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) alleging an unfair practice. Basically, appellee contended that the only valid causes for discharging a professional employee are found in Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1122 (Code), ...