Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County in the case of In Re: Appeal of Portage Area Education Association (William Ramus and Patricia Rylke), No. 1979-6383.
William K. Eckel, for appellants.
Ferdinand F. Bionaz, Bionaz, Raptosh & McGlynn, for appellee.
Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 322]
The appellant, the Portage Area Education Association (Association), filed this appeal on behalf of two teachers*fn1 who were suspended by the appellee, the Portage Area School District (District). The suspension was upheld by an arbitrator and then by the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County.
The Association had filed a grievance challenging the District's suspension of the two teachers here concerned, but the District contended that the matter was not arbitrable. Extended litigation followed and our Supreme Court ultimately reversed a determination made by this Court and ordered the District to submit the matter to arbitration. Rylke v. Portage Area School District, 473 Pa. 481, 375 A.2d 692 (1977).
At the subsequent arbitration, the question before the arbitrator was whether or not the District had complied with Section 1124 of the School Code, 24 P.S. § 11-1124,*fn2 when it suspended these teachers, inasmuch as the terms of the pertinent collective bargaining agreement provided that issues concerning job security
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 323]
were to be controlled by the provisions of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code).*fn3 The arbitrator's decision upholding the suspension was affirmed by the court below and this appeal followed.
The Association contends that the arbitrator's decision was not rationally derived from the collective bargaining agreement,*fn4 because the District had not complied with Section 1124 of the School Code, as required by the contract, in that the suspensions in question
[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 324]
were not prompted by a substantial decrease in pupil enrollment in the school district. 24 P.S. § 11-1124(1) and ...