Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of The School District of the City of Duquesne v. Duquesne Education Association, PSEA/NEA, Nos. GD 84-17531 and GD 85-1098.
Robert L. McTiernan, Tucker Arensberg, P.C., for appellant.
Ronald N. Watzman, for appellee.
Judge MacPhail, Senior Judges Rogers and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Rogers.
This is the appeal of the School District of the City of Duquesne (School District) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying the School District's petition to vacate arbitration awards granting two of the school district's furloughed teachers a sum equivalent to their sabbatical salary entitlement plus statutory interest less unemployment compensation actually received.
The School District and the Duquesne Education Association (Association) entered into a collective bargaining agreement which provided the following with respect to sabbatical leave:
1. Teachers who have been employed for ten (10) years in a public school district in the Commonwealth may be granted a sabbatical leave, the teacher shall be considered to be in the employ of the Board and shall be entitled to a second
sabbatical leave and every seven (7) years thereafter. During said sabbatical leave, the employee shall be paid one-half (1/2) of his salary.
2. The Board will grant sabbatical leaves in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The School Board decided to furlough twenty-two employees for the 1983-84 school year. Three of these employees were teachers who had been employed by the School District for more than ten years (Helen Kuhn (14 years), Thomas Sturm (11 years), and Nancy Gregris (10.5 years)). Each of these teachers then applied for sabbatical leave for the 1983-84 school year. The School District granted sabbatical leaves to four other teachers for the 1983-84 school year but failed to consider the applications of Kuhn, Sturm and Gregris on the ground that they were not entitled to such leave while on furlough. The Association filed a grievance on behalf of the teachers which eventually came to arbitration.
The arbitrator held that the three teachers were entitled to a sabbatical during the 1983-84 school year despite their furlough. He directed the parties to attempt a resolution of the remedy by agreement and to report back. When the parties were unable to agree upon remedies, the arbitrator conducted a further hearing and issued an order sustaining the grievances of Helen Kuhn and Thomas Sturm and denying the grievance of Nancy Gregris*fn1 and further directing the School ...