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PORT AUTHORITY ALLEGHENY COUNTY v. AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION (07/01/68)

decided: July 1, 1968.

PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY
v.
AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION, LOCAL DIVISION 85, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1968, No. 758, in case of Port Authority of Allegheny County v. Amalgamated Transit Union, Local Division 85.

COUNSEL

Herman Sternstein, with him Frank R. Bolte and O. David Zimring, of the Washington, D. C. Bar, for appellant.

Nicholas Unkovic, with him Charles C. Cohen, Ralph Lynch, Jr., and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, and Burgwin, Ruffin, Perry, Pohl & Springer, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Musmanno.

Author: Eagen

[ 430 Pa. Page 515]

This is an appeal from a declaratory judgment entered in the court below.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County*fn1 [hereinafter Authority] operates mass transit facilities in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and employs, inter alia, 120 individuals in the position of dispatchers, inspectors, district inspectors and instructors [hereinafter Supervisory Personnel]. The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local Division 85 [hereinafter Union] is the accredited bargaining representative of the employees of Authority. A dispute arose between Authority and Union as to whether or not Union is the bargaining representative of Supervisory Personnel.*fn2

[ 430 Pa. Page 516]

Authority then petitioned the court for a decree declaring it was not obligated to bargain collectively with those individuals included in Supervisory Personnel. Union filed preliminary objections to the petition questioning, inter alia, the propriety of an action in declaratory judgment. The court overruled the objections and entered a decree in favor of Authority. Union appealed.

The court erred in entertaining the action.

We have consistently ruled that declaratory judgment proceedings should not be entertained if there exists an available statutory remedy. Mohney Estate, 416 Pa. 107, 204 A.2d 916 (1964); Holt Estate, 405 Pa. 244, 174 A.2d 874 (1961); McWilliams v. McCabe, 406 Pa. 644, 179 A.2d 222 (1962). In the instant situation such a remedy exists.

The Second Class County Port Authority Act, supra, § 13.2, as amended, 55 P.S. § 563.2 provides in part: "The Authority through its boards shall deal with and enter into written contracts with the employes of the authority through accredited representatives of such employes or representatives of any labor organization authorized to act for such employes. . . .

"In case of any labor dispute where collective bargaining does not result in agreement, the authority shall offer to submit ...


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