Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, in the case of Northumberland County Area Vocational-Technical School v. Northumberland County Area Vocational-Technical School Education Association, No. CV-86-938.
Thomas W. Scott, with him, Lynne L. Wilson, for appellant.
Frank E. Garrigan, Garrigan & Rosini, for appellee.
Judges Craig and Barry, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 60]
The Northumberland County Area Vocational-Technical School Education Association appeals an order, of the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, vacating an arbitrator's award that sustained a grievance filed by the association against the Northumberland County Area Vocational-Technical School.
The facts, as determined by the arbitrator, are as follows. In 1981 the association and the school entered into a collective bargaining agreement. Section 9.2 of the collective bargaining agreement provided:
No professional employee shall be reduced in rank or compensation or deprived of any professional advantage as defined in the Public School Code without just cause as provided in the Public School Code.
Before the 1985-86 school year, the school informed three members of the association that they would be demoted
[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 61]
to half-time status. In the fall of 1985 whenever any members of the teaching faculty were absent, the school offered the demoted teachers the opportunity to substitute for the absent teachers. In the late fall of 1985, the school discontinued this policy and began to employ other substitute teachers. As a result, the association filed a grievance and asserted that, under section 1125.1 of the Public School Code*fn1 (School Code) and the collective bargaining agreement, the demoted teachers have the right to be recalled in the place of any absent teacher.
Following a grievance hearing, the arbitrator concluded that, although the contract provided no recall rights for the demoted teachers, they did have recall rights under the School Code; therefore, he sustained the grievance of the association.
The school appealed the arbitrator's decision, and the trial court vacated the award of the arbitrator, ruling that the school had not violated the School Code ...