Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Mary Robinson, et al. v. Abington Education Association and Mike Mecklowitz, Richard Brady, Sam Russell, Roy Corkadel, Kenneth Silver, Nancy Bickley and Board of Directors of the Abington School District, No. 73-08050.
Richard W. Rogers, with him Rogers, King & Cole, for appellant, Abington Education Association.
Robert A. MacDonnell, with him Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellant, Abington School District.
Manuel Grife, with him Gever and Grife, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
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The Abington Education Association, a union of employes of the Abington School District, has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County granting equitable relief to the instant appellees, a group of the Association's members composed of special education teachers and home and school visitors of the School District.
The appellees aver in their amended complaint, in which both the Association and the School District are
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 565]
named as defendants, that the Association was the collective bargaining representative for the employes of the School District, including the plaintiffs; that in the past the plaintiffs had received a salary premium because of their special responsibilities in teaching exceptional children; that the Association and School Board had negotiated a collective bargaining agreement voiding their salary premiums; that the elimination of their salary premiums was at the insistence of the Association; that the elimination of the premiums in this manner was a violation of the Public School Code of 1949;*fn1 and that the actions of the Association in insisting in the course of bargaining with the School District on the elimination of their salary premiums was unfair. The relief sought was that the defendants be restrained from giving effect to the collective bargaining agreement and that the Association be directed to meet with the Board and agree to the inclusion of the accustomed premiums in the collective bargaining agreement.
The Association filed preliminary objections which were overruled. The School Board filed an Answer. The Association filed an Answer, and an Amended Answer with New Matter. The plaintiffs filed a Reply to New Matter. Stipulations were filed of record, which provided that the plaintiffs would withdraw an application for a preliminary injunction and that the Association and School Board might execute the collective bargaining agreement and put it into effect without provision for the plaintiffs' salary premiums, subject to reinstatement of the premiums if the case on the merits should be decided for the plaintiffs.
After trial on the merits, the chancellor made the following findings of fact:
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 5665]
. The Special Education Teachers are engaged in the task of teaching and managing various levels of retarded children in order to prepare them for a place in society in keeping with their own potential.
6. The Home and School Visitors act as liasons between home and school and community in order to resolve those student problems wherein communication and cooperation between the three are helpful and necessary.
9. That after the passage of Act 195 [on July 23, 1970], the Abington Education Association was certified by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board as the professional employees bargaining representative which unit was comprised of all teachers, including Special Education Teachers and Home and School Visitors.
10. Until the school year 1973-1974, every annual agreement providing for compensation for the Special Education Teachers commencing with at least the 1963-1964 school year contained provision for a salary differential, in addition to the ...