Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 1660, District Council 33, AFL-CIO, No. 5562 March Term, 1981.
Vincent J. Salandria, Assistant General Counsel, with him Eugene F. Brazil, General Counsel, for appellant.
Alaine S. Williams, with her Richard Kirschner, Kirschner, Walters & Willig, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Mencer.
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The Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming an arbitrator's decision which sustained as a violation of the applicable collective bargaining agreement the grievance of AFSCME Local 1660 complaining of the termination by the district of the employment of bargaining unit members.
The facts are undisputed.*fn1 AFSCME Local 1660 is the exclusive representative for the purpose of collective bargaining of a unit of school district employes
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whose duties primarily involved the collection of real estate and other taxes the proceeds of which are used to fund the school district's operations. The terms and conditions of employment of the approximately one hundred twenty members of Local 1660 are controlled by a collective bargaining agreement executed by the union and the school district and effective by its terms during the period from July 1, 1978 to June 30, 1981.
During the term of the collective bargaining agreement, the school district entered into an arrangement with the City of Philadelphia, formalized in a writing dated April 13, 1980, by which the school district agreed to terminate the employment of the bargaining unit members and the city agreed to rehire these employees within the city's Department of Revenue and to then perform for a fee the school district's tax collection duties. The authority of the Board of Education to enter into such an arrangement was assertedly to be found in Section 12-309(a) of the Educational Supplement to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter (Educational Supplement) which provides:
(a) The Board of Education shall have the authority to enter into agreements relating to, but not limited to, joint tax collection, joint purchasing of supplies, equipment and contractual services, use of recreational and park equipment and facilities, control and prevention of juvenile delinquency, city planning, capital budgeting, capital programming, comprehensive development planning and health services with any department, agency, office, board or commission of the City, or with any agency of the Commonwealth or of the United States, or with any non-profit private agency, when, in the opinion of the Board, such agreement will further the efficient and effective administration of public education. In any such agreements,
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the Board shall, insofar as possible, safeguard all rights of employment, status, and tenure of employes who may be transferred into or out of School District service by virtue of the operation of such agreements.
351 Pa. Code § 12.12-309(a).
On June 30, 1980 the school district discharged each bargaining unit member. Since that date ninety-one members of the former bargaining unit have attempted to gain reemployment with the city. Of these, forty-seven were not able to pass a required qualifying examination. Each of the forty-four former bargaining unit members reemployed by the city has suffered a significant diminution in his wages and benefits as a result of the school district's operational change including a decrease in annual salary of between three and eleven thousand dollars; a loss of seniority, pension rights and accrued ...