Arbitrator's Award Does Not Draw Its Essence from the Collective Bargaining Agreement
In State System of Higher Education (Cheyney University) v. State College University Professional Association (PSEA-NEA), 560 Pa. 135, 743 A.2d 405 (1999), our supreme court stressed the deference to be accorded to the award of the arbitrator chosen by the parties, noting that, in the vast majority of cases, the arbitrator's decision is final and binding, the lone exception being where the arbitrator's award does not draw its essence from the collective bargaining agreement.
As set forth in Cheyney University, the essence test entails a two-prong analysis.
First, the court must determine if the issue submitted to arbitration, as defined, is encompassed within the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Second, if the issue is embraced by the agreement, the award will be upheld if the arbitrator's interpretation can rationally be derived from the agreement. Id.
A reviewing "court will only vacate an arbitrator's award where the award indisputably and genuinely is without foundation in, or fails to logically flow from, the collective bargaining agreement." Id. at 150, 743 A.2d at 413.