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Pittsburgh Board of Public Education v. Pittsburgh Fed'n of Teachers

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

December 17, 2014

Pittsburgh Board of Public Education, Appellant
v.
Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers

Argued: November 10, 2014.

Page 848

Appealed from No. G.D. No. 13-004911. Common Pleas Court of the County of Allegheny. Ward, J.

Gretchen K. Love, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Stephen H. Jordan, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BERNARD L. McGINLEY, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge. OPINION BY SENIOR JUDGE FRIEDMAN.

OPINION

Page 849

ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge

The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education (Board) appeals from the March 17, 2014, order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) that denied the Board's petition to vacate a grievance arbitration award. We affirm.

The Board is charged with operating the Pittsburgh Public School System (District), which includes grades kindergarten through 12, as well as the education of special needs students who have mental, physical, or psychological disabilities. The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (Union) is the bargaining representative for teachers employed by the Board.

The Board and the Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), effective July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2015. In 2012, the Board laid off certain special education teachers out of system-seniority order.[1] The Board laid off particular teachers based on their failure to attain a " Highly Qualified Teacher" (HQT) designation, rather than on their seniority.[2]

Page 850

The Union filed a grievance, alleging that the Board violated the CBA when it failed to lay off the teachers in system-seniority order.

On February 15, 2012, Arbitrator Helen Witt (Arbitrator) issued an arbitration award (Award) determining that the Board violated the CBA when it furloughed teachers out of system-seniority order. On March 17, 2014, the Board petitioned the trial court to vacate the Award. The trial court ...


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