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MINERSVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/06/89)

decided: December 6, 1989.

MINERSVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW (PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD)

COUNSEL

Edward E. Kopko, Pottsville, for petitioner.

Peter Lassi, Camp Hill, with him, James L. Crawford, Harrisburg, for respondent.

A. Martin Herring, with him, Charles L. Herring, A. Martin Herring & Associates, Philadelphia, for intervenor, Minersville Area Educ. Ass'n and Stanley Adams.

Colins and Smith, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Colins

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 476]

Minersville Area School District (School District) petitions for review of an Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) dated December 21, 1988, which dismissed the School District's exceptions and made final the Board's July 20, 1988 proposed decision and order. The Board filed a motion to dismiss for mootness. The Board's motion is granted.

Stanley Adams (Adams) was employed by the School District as a part-time custodian. A full-time position became available for which Adams applied and was appointed. He submitted to a routine physical exam by the School District's physician who noted Adams' inability to lift objects greater than fifty pounds and opined that Adams was physically incapable of performing the duties of a full-time custodian. As a result, Adams was suspended by the School Superintendent. At the suggestion of the School District physician, he applied for a social security disability pension for which he was turned down.

The Minersville Area School Service Personnel Association (Association), intervenor in this action, and Adams filed a grievance on October 8, 1982, protesting his suspension. While this matter was pending, the School Board converted the suspension to a discharge on October 18, 1982. The School District alleged that Adams had misrepresented his physical condition at the time that he was hired. The Association contended that the School District's action violated

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 477]

    the parties' collective bargaining agreement (agreement). The Association asserted that Adams was never secretive about his history of back problems which was known to his co-workers, including the head custodian. It further asserted that Adams performed his work for several years without any ill effects and had performed much heavier work than what would have been required of him in the new custodial position.

The arbitrator determined that the record did not support the discharge of Adams under the agreement. He awarded, inter alia, that Adams be reinstated with full seniority and back pay and that he be made whole for any expenses he incurred during his suspension which would have been covered under his benefit package. The School District appealed the decision to the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County on July 9, 1985, which affirmed those portions of the award which ordered Adams to be reinstated with full seniority and back pay. The School District appealed to this Court and while that appeal was pending, offered to reinstate Adams effective March 3, 1986. Adams did not accept the School District's offer. On December 10, 1986, this Court issued an order affirming the order of the trial court. The School District then petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for allowance of appeal, which was denied on October 20, 1987.

Consequently, the Association, by letter dated October 29, 1987, requested that the School District comply with the arbitrator's award by forwarding to Adams back pay for the period October 29, 1982 to the effective date of the offer of reinstatement, March 3, 1986, and indicated that the amount due was $39,021.15, plus interest to the present time. The School District refused, and the Association filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Board. On December 11, 1987, the Board issued a complaint and notice of hearing, charging the School District with failure to abide by the arbitrator's ...


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