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PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT EDUCATION v. MARK C. WHITE (07/17/81)

decided: July 17, 1981.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, SCRANTON STATE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF, PETITIONER
v.
MARK C. WHITE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of Mark C. White v. Scranton State Oral School, Department of Education, Appeal No. 2766.

COUNSEL

Wayne M. Richardson, Assistant Attorney General, for petitioner.

Brigid E. Carey, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Blatt

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 600]

This is an appeal from an order of the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission (Commission) which directed the Department of Education (Department) and the Scranton State School for the Deaf (School) to reinstate Mark C. White (White) to the position of Pupil Personnel Services Director (PPS Director) at the school.

In July, August and September of 1975, prior to the time of White's employment, the superintendent of the school had unsuccessfully sought the approval of the Board of Trustees (Board) for the creation of the position of PPS Director, and the Board had voted at its September, 1975 meeting to table indefinitely any consideration of this suggestion. The Superintendent did not subsequently request Board approval of the position.

White began his employment at the school in March of 1976 as a probationary Social Worker II and in September of 1976, he attained regular status in that job. In October, 1976, the superintendent established a Pupil Personnel Services Committee (Committee)

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 601]

    to aid in providing better support services at the school. It was to be composed of appropriate school personnel and the chairmanship of the Committee was to be rotated among them. This was not a classified position, and its duties were to be assumed by the current acting chairman in addition to his or her normal responsibilities. Two months after the Committee's inception, however, White was selected to be chairman. In February, 1977, while researching job classifications in the Compensation Plan of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, White discovered a position titled "Pupil Personnel Services Director, Scranton Oral School," followed by the word "vacant", and he then secured a job description from the Office of Classification and Pay of the Department of Education. Upon determining that he was performing virtually all the duties outlined in the job description, on February 28, 1977, White submitted documents to the superintendent requesting reclassification of his position from Social Worker II to PPS Director. The superintendent replied as of the same date:

While I recognize that you are, in fact, performing the duties as described for a PPS Director, I am not able to recommend your reclassification. The Board of Trustees of this institution has indefinitely tabled consideration of this position, and until such time as they modify their stance, I am not able to act.

The superintendent then forwarded White's request to the Department of Education which, in May, 1977, following a desk audit of White's duties, notified him that the position reclassification had been approved. White then applied to the State Civil Service Commission for certification to the position and, upon attaining the requisite experience, was certified on November 15, ...


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