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WILKES-BARRE AREA EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION v. WILKES-BARRE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT (02/17/88)

decided: February 17, 1988.

WILKES-BARRE AREA EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION, APPELLANT
v.
WILKES-BARRE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, in case of Wilkes-Barre Area School District v. Wilkes-Barre Area Educational Association, No. 2240-C of 1986.

COUNSEL

John G. Whelley, Jr., with him, Mark A. Van Loon, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellant.

Robert T. Panowicz, with him, Anthony J. Lupas, for appellee.

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 493]

Wilkes-Barre Area Education Association (Appellant) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County (trial court), which vacated an arbitration award rendered pursuant to a grievance filed by Appellant against Wilkes-Barre Area School District (Appellee). We reverse and reinstate the award of the arbitrator.

Appellee and Appellant were parties to a collective bargaining agreement dated August 22, 1985.*fn1 Appellant was the bargaining representative for Appellee's teachers, school nurses, librarians, guidance counselors, and school psychologists. According to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, two (2) parent-teacher conferences and six (6) faculty meetings were to be held each year. The parent-teacher conferences and faculty

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 494]

    meetings were to be considered as part of an employee's normal work day.*fn2

During the spring of 1985, various members of Appellant did not attend the parent-teacher conferences as scheduled. As a result, on June 27, 1985, Appellee withheld five hours of pay calculated at the "regular rate of pay."*fn3 Three hours of the pay were withheld because of the members' failure to attend the parent-teacher conferences.*fn4 Appellant filed a grievance on September 9, 1985 alleging that Appellee had violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement by withholding the three hours of pay.

A hearing was held before an arbitrator on March 11, 1986.*fn5 The arbitrator determined that the parent-teacher

[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 495]

    conferences were part of the teachers' regular work day, that attendance at such conferences was required, and that Appellee had the right to discipline the teachers who failed to attend the conferences. However, the arbitrator concluded that Appellee could not dock the pay of the teachers who did not attend the conferences because such deductions would be from money which the teachers had already earned. In reaching this conclusion, ...


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