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MCKEESPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. MCKEESPORT AREA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (12/06/89)

decided: December 6, 1989.

MCKEESPORT AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT,
v.
MCKEESPORT AREA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Allegheny County, Honorable S. Louis Farino, Judge.

COUNSEL

Karen L. Myers, with her, Robert P. Costello, Sol., for appellant.

Ronald N. Watzman, Litman, Litman, Harris, Brown & Watzman, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Colins and McGinley, JJ., and Narick, Senior Judge.

Author: Narick

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 80]

The McKeesport Area School District (District) appeals from an order of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, which affirmed an arbitrator's award, sustaining the McKeesport Area Education Association's (Association's) grievance. Pursuant to the parties' collective bargaining agreement (Agreement), they selected the arbitrator from a panel furnished by the American Arbitration Association. We affirm.

The Association, specifically Thomas Lawrence, filed the grievance on April 29, 1986. Additional teachers later joined in the same. The basis for the grievance was the McKeesport Area School Board's (Board's) application of its July 11, 1955 resolution. It reads as follows: "That all teachers elected beginning with the term 1955-1956 who have already completed their required military training, be

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 81]

    granted one increment in addition to the normal starting salary."

The claim submitted to the arbitrator reads as follows: "The McKeesport Area School District has acted in a discriminatory manner by failing to compensate or inequitably compensate all employees who have completed military service prior to being employed by the district." Even though the Association filed the grievance over one month after meeting informally with the District's superintendent on April 29, 1986,*fn1 the arbitrator still found that it was timely filed.*fn2

The issue before the arbitrator was whether the District acted in a discriminatory manner by failing to compensate or inequitably compensate all employees who had completed military service prior to being employed by the District. Finding in favor of the Association, on May 16, 1987 he entered the following award:

The grievance is found to have merit to the extent that those grievants hired after the adoption of the 1955 Board policy . . . were and are entitled to the increments it provides for, calculated in the same manner as it has calculated other increments voluntarily paid for it. The District shall tender payment therefore to them, coupled with interest thereon as provided for by the School Code, within thirty days of this date.

Subsequent modifications to that award occurred, wherein the arbitrator made the following clarifications. On July 6, 1987, the arbitrator provided that only employees hired after the adoption of the 1955 Board policy should receive a lump sum of $200 or $300 depending upon ...


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