Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County in case of In the Matter of the Petition of Wellsboro Area School District, No. 424 Civil Division, 1982.
William A. Hebe, Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for appellants.
Robert F. Cox, Sr., with him Robert F. Cox, Jr., Cox and Cox, for appellee.
Judges Craig, Barry and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
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This appeal results from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County which affirmed in part and reversed in part an arbitration award.
On September 9, 1980, the Wellsboro Area School District (District) and the Wellsboro Area Education Association (Association) entered into a collective bargaining agreement covering the 1980-81 and 1981-82 school years. Guy Bravo, an employee of the District and a member of the Association was a full-time instructor of the Young Farmers Program. In January 1981, the District assigned Mr. Bravo to teach a World Cultures Class and to monitor a study hall in addition to his regular duties of instructing the Young Farmers Program. Mr. Bravo filed a grievance, alleging the assignment of the additional duties constituted a violation of various provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. The grievance eventually proceeded to arbitration. Following a hearing, the arbitrator ruled that the District had violated the collective bargaining agreement in assigning Mr. Bravo the additional duties. The arbitrator ordered the parties to meet and discuss the
[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 469]
amount of additional compensation to which Mr. Bravo would be entitled. The arbitrator ordered the additional compensation to be paid until either Mr. Bravo's additional duties or his hours in the Young Farmers Program were reduced. Finally, the arbitrator ordered the District to maintain the Young Farmers Program.
The District appealed to the court of common pleas. On September 13, 1982, the court affirmed that portion of the arbitration award which held that Mr. Bravo was entitled to additional compensation. The court, however, vacated that portion of the award which mandated the District to maintain the Young Farmers Program, holding that such an award was outside the arbitrator's authority. The District appealed from the portion of the court's order affirming part of the arbitration award and the Association appealed from that portion which vacated the remainder of the award.
Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether the arbitrator's award draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement. In Leechburg Area School District v. Dale, 492 Pa. 515, 520-21, 424 A.2d 1309, 1312-13 (1981), the court stated:
The essence test requires a determination as to whether the terms of the agreement encompass the subject matter of the dispute. Where it is determined that the subject matter of the dispute is encompassed within the terms of the agreement, the validity of the arbitrator's interpretation is not a matter of concern for the court.
Accord School District of Erie v. Erie Education Association, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 383, 447 A.2d 686 (1982). Accordingly, the District argues that the terms of ...