No. 433 January Term, 1979, No. 434 January Term, 1979, Appeal from the Opinion and Order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania entered July 13, 1979 at No. 47 C.D. 1978, which affirmed the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Pennsylvania, entered December 30, 1977 at No. 1977-1945, reversing the final order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board entered June 30, 1977 at Case No. PERA-C-9005-C.
William A. Hebe, Wellsboro, for appellant in No. 433.
James L. Crawford, Harrisburg, for appellant in No. 434.
John R. Miller, Bellefonte, for appellee in Nos. 433 & 434.
William A. Hebe, Wellsboro, for appellee in No. 434.
James L. Crawford, Harrisburg, for appellee in No. 433.
Once again we have before us the issue of whether a dispute over striking teachers' entitlement to payment based
on a collective bargaining agreement providing for a maximum school work year of 183 days, of which 180 were to be pupil contact days, is arbitrable in the face of this Commonwealth's statutory law prohibiting any payment to public employees for the period during which they are on strike.
The instant case is here on appeal by allowance from a final order of the Commonwealth Court entered on July 13, 1979, affirming the December 30, 1977 order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County. Common Pleas had reversed a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) order determining that the Bald Eagle Area School District (Appellee School District) committed an unfair labor practice when it refused to submit to arbitration a grievance filed by the Bald Eagle Area Education Association (Appellant Education Association). Without deciding the merits, the PLRB held that the matter was a proper subject of compulsory arbitration. Both the Common Pleas and Commonwealth Courts determined the issue in the case was not arbitrable because, in their view, any decision favorable to the Appellant Education Association would violate the policy prohibiting payment to public employees for any period in which they engaged in a strike. That policy is articulated in Section 1006, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, No. 195, 43 P.S. § 1101.1006 (PERA). Bearing in mind the importance of prompt disposition of disputes and resolution of grievances under a collective bargaining agreement and the concomitant strong ...