Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In re: Claim of Steven C. Seyer et al., No. B-194942 and Claim of Lana R. Nalichowski et al., No. B-194943.
Edward H. Feege, Hayes and Feege, P.C., for petitioner.
A. Martin Herring, for respondents, Steven C. Seger et al. and Lana R. Nalichowski et al.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 349]
Lehigh County Community College (college) appeals from an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review order awarding benefits to two token claimants and other members of the Lehigh County Community College Faculty Association (union). The board concluded that claimants' unemployment resulted
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 350]
from a lockout by the college under Section 402(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1
After carefully reviewing the record we conclude that substantial evidence supports the board's undisputed findings. Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement began in August 1979. The predecessor contract (effective for years 1977-80) was due to expire the day before the first day of the 1980-81 academic year.*fn2 The Board of Trustees customarily establishes an academic year calendar in February or March, and, since 1970, the college has invariably opened in the last week of August.*fn3 In 1980, however, the Board of Trustees, because of pendent contract negotiations, adopted a school calendar in August which would begin on September 18, 1980, if the agreement was ratified by the union membership.*fn4
[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 351]
On June 30, 1980, and weekly thereafter, the union's chief negotiator wrote to the college's president and chief negotiator offering "to extend the present collective bargaining agreement and all terms and conditions of employment on a day-to-day basis" during negotiations. By letter dated August 11, 1980, the college stated that it would "certainly consider the [union's] offer to extend the present . . . contract . . . when it expires on September 17, 1980." Tentative agreement was reached on September 17, 1980, and the faculty returned to work the next day.
The college initially asserts that claimants, as educational employes with reasonable assurances of working during the 1980-81 academic year, are ineligible under Section 402.1(1) of the Law (the between-terms benefit denial provision). As in Mountain View School District v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 59 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 510, 436 A.2d 1225 (1981) and Centennial School District v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 56 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 86, 424 A.2d 569 (1981), however, substantial ...