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TOWNSHIP FALLS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/18/74)

decided: July 18, 1974.

TOWNSHIP OF FALLS, BUCKS COUNTY, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of In Re: Appeal by Township of Falls from Final Order of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, Case No. PERA R-2489E, No. 73-6412-03-6.

COUNSEL

Marcus Manoff, with him Richard S. Meyer, and Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy & Coleman, for appellant.

James L. Crawford, Assistant Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman, Assistant Attorney General, and Francis A. Zulli, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Kramer joins in this dissent.

Author: Crumlish

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 495]

This is an appeal from an opinion and order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County affirming in its entirety a final order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board).

On September 25, 1972, the International Brotherhood of Firemen, Oilers, Power House Operators & Maintenance Mechanics, Local 59, AFL-CIO,*fn1 filed a "Petition for Representation" in which it sought certification as the exclusive bargaining representative of the school crossing guards of Falls Township. On October 26, 1972, the Board issued an Order and Notice of Hearing fixing November 9, 1972, as the date for the hearing on the issues raised in the Petition. At the hearing, the Township of Falls argued for the dismissal

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 496]

    of the Petition. The Board disagreed with the positions advanced by the Township and issued an order directing that an election be held among the guards, as prayed for by the Union. In the election, held March 30, 1973, the Union won a majority of the votes cast and the Board issued a Nisi Order of Certification on April 10, 1973, certifying the Union as the exclusive bargaining representative of the school crossing guards. Timely exceptions were then filed by the Township, which were subsequently argued before and dismissed by the Board. Thereafter the Board issued a Final Order on June 15, 1973, and the Township appealed that order to the Common Pleas Court of Bucks County, which, based upon the record prepared by the Board, affirmed its final order.

Township (Appellant) now appeals to this Court.

Appellant argues citing Section 604(3) of the Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, Art. I, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.604(3), that the Board erred in certifying as union representatives of the school crossing guards a union which also represents non-guard employes of the Township. Section 604(3) provides:

"The Board shall determine the appropriateness of a unit which shall be the public employes unit or a subdivision thereof. In the determining the appropriateness of the unit, the board shall:

"(3) Not permit guards at prisons and mental hospitals, employes directly involved with and necessary to the functioning of the courts of this Commonwealth, or any individual employed as a guard to enforce against employes and other persons, rules to protect the safety of persons on the employer's premises to be included in any unit with other public employes, each may form separate homogeneous employe organizations with the ...


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