Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, in the case of The Executive Council of The Middle Bucks Area Vocational Technical School v. The Middle Bucks Area Vocational Technical School Education Association, and Richard Liebel and Clifford L. Clymer, Trustee ad litem, No. 87-007914.
A. Martin Herring, A. Martin Herring & Associates, for appellants.
Michael I. Levin, Cleckner and Fearen, for appellee.
Judges Doyle and Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.
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The Middle Bucks Area Vocational Technical School Education Association (Appellant), Richard Liebel, and Clifford L. Clymer, as trustee ad litem, appeal the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County
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which granted the equity complaint of The Executive Council of the Middle Bucks Vocational Technical School (Appellee) by enjoining the parties from proceeding to arbitration under their collective bargaining agreement concerning the dismissal of Richard Liebel (Liebel), a tenured teacher. We affirm.
Appellee is the governing body of the Middle Bucks Area Vocational Technical School. Appellant is the collective bargaining agent for the teachers at the school including Liebel who is a professional, tenured employee as defined by the Public School Code of 1949 (Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. §§ 1.101-26.2607. Appellant and Appellee are parties to a collective bargaining agreement negotiated under the provisions of the Public Employee Relation Act (PERA), Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. §§ 1101.101-1101.2301.
On May 27, 1987, Appellee served on Liebel a notice of dismissal pursuant to Section 1127 of the Code, 26 P.S. § 11-1127. Liebel received a hearing and was dismissed following an adjudication which Liebel did not appeal. Instead, Liebel elected to file a grievance and proceed to arbitration under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Appellee took the position that the terms of the agreement provided that the Code, not arbitration, was the exclusive means provided for challenging the dismissal of a tenured teacher. Appellee refused to participate in the arbitration and instead filed an equity complaint pursuant to Section 7304(b) of the Uniform Arbitration Act (Act), 42 Pa. C.S. § 7304(b), requesting the trial court stay the arbitration on the grounds there was no agreement to arbitrate.
Dismissal of professional employees is covered by Article VIII of the parties' collective bargaining agreement:
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