Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County in case of The School District of the Township of Millcreek v. Millcreek Education Association and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, No. 5214-A 1979.
Mark E. Mioduszewski, with him Donald E. Wright, Jr., Knox, Graham, McLaughlin, Gornall and Sennett, Inc., for appellant.
George Levin, for appellee, Millcreek Education Association.
Anthony Busillo, II, with him James L. Crawford, Anthony D. Newman, and Cheryl G. Young, for appellee, Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
William Fearen, with him Michael I. Levin, Cleckner and Fearen, for Amicus Curiae, The Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
Judges Mencer, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 390]
In February 1971, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) certified the Millcreek Education Association (Union) as the exclusive representative
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 391]
for the bargaining unit consisting of "teachers, traveling teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, traveling librarian, dental hygienist, speech therapists, and nurses" employed by the School District of Millcreek Township (School District). The Union and the School District thereafter negotiated several collective bargaining agreements without changing the description of the bargaining unit. At the time that the PLRB certified the bargaining unit, the School District employed "long term substitute teachers" to fill the positions of teachers who were on leaves of absence extending beyond 89 days.
When a dispute arose in 1976 concerning the inclusion of the long-term substitute teachers in the bargaining unit, the Union filed a petition for unit clarification with the PLRB. The PLRB found that the long-term substitutes shared a "community of interest" with the other full-time permanent employees sufficient to justify their inclusion in the same bargaining unit. On appeal by the School District, the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County affirmed the decision of the PLRB. This appeal followed:
Section 604 of the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA), Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. § 1101.604, provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
The [PLRB] shall determine the appropriateness of a unit which shall be the public employer unit or a subdivision thereof. In determining the ...