Original and appellate jurisdiction in the case of George D. Lentz and Correctional Institutional Vocational Education Association, PSEA/NEA v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Education and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Civil Service Commission.
Kimber L. Latsha, with her, Betty F. Perry and Thomas W. Scott, Killian & Gephart, for petitioners.
John A. Alzamora, Assistant Counsel, with him, Mary M. Rogers, Chief Counsel, for respondents.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 168]
The question in this case is whether employees of the state Department of Education who provide teaching services to inmates of the state's correctional institutions are in positions governed by the state Civil Service Act,*fn1 or instead are in jobs regulated by the Public School Code by virtue of a provision in that Code*fn2 which embraces every teacher "of a class organized and supervised by the Department of [Education] in an institution wholly or partly supported by the Commonwealth. . . ."
[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 169]
This action, brought by George Lentz and the Correctional Instructional Vocational Education Association (union), as bargaining representative, on behalf of the department's employees who teach in correctional institutions, is addressed to this court's original jurisdiction and to our appellate jurisdiction as well. The original jurisdiction count, an action for declaratory judgment, and the appellate count, seeking to review the State Civil Service Commission's determination that the employees are within the state civil service, are consolidated for decision.
Because this case centrally involves statutory construction, we first set forth the salient provisions of the two statutes involved. As a basis for claiming that the Civil Service Act excludes these teachers from state civil service, the union cites section 3(d)(7) of that Act, 71 P.S. § 741.3(d)(7), which provides that the "Classified service" within the state civil service system includes all Department of Education positions with the exception of positions expressly excluded. That subsection states:
(d) 'Classified service' includes:
(7) All positions now existing or hereafter created in the Department of Education, including positions in the Vocational Education Management Information Systems and excluding the presidents, faculty members and student employes of the State colleges, the heads and faculty members of the department's other educational institutions and excluding also county superintendents, assistant county superintendents and supervisors of special education. . . . (Emphasis added.)
Alongside that provision, the union also cites section 1926 of the Public School Code, 24 ...