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SCRANTON FEDERATION TEACHERS v. SCRANTON SCHOOL DISTRICT (09/05/79)

decided: September 5, 1979.

SCRANTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 1147, AFT, APPELLANT
v.
SCRANTON SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of Scranton School District v. Scranton Federation of Teachers, Local 1147, A.F.T., No. 228 March Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

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

James A. Kelly, District Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers, Blatt, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Mencer and DiSalle did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Craig. Judge Blatt joins in this dissent.

Author: Bowman

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

The harsh winds of the winter of 1976-1977 continue to disturb the Commonwealth as evidenced by the appeal presently before the Court from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County setting aside an arbitration award as in violation of, inconsistent with and in conflict with the Act of June 1, 1977 (Act), P.L. 4, 24 P.S. § 15-1501.1, which supplemented the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 1-101 et seq. The Scranton Federation of Teachers, Local 1147, AFT (Union) seeks reinstatement of the award which granted additional pay for days rescheduled as a result of the weather emergency of 1977. Appellee Scranton School District (Employer) contends the award is contrary to the language of the Act, is not drawn from the collective bargaining agreement and is illogical inasmuch as it grants pay for days not worked.

The grievance giving rise to arbitration was filed in response to the Employer's modification of the school calendar. Severe weather conditions and fuel shortages required the closing of nine gas-fired schools for ten days and of nineteen nongas-fired schools for eight days. All schools were closed for one additional day because of snow. The modified calendar added four pupil instruction days by eliminating two days previously designated vacation days and extending

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

    the teaching year by two days. A fifth pupil instruction day was recognized by converting a teacher in-service day to that purpose.*fn1

With respect to the calendar, the collective bargaining agreement between the Employer and the Union in Article 25 provided:

Sec. 1. The school year for teachers shall consist of one hundred eighty-five (185) days exclusive of holidays declared on the school calendar, one (1) day of which shall be a faculty workshop day. Any day beyond one hundred

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 389]

    eighty-five (185) on which teachers are required to report shall be compensated for at the daily rate of the teacher affected, ...


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