Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Allegheny General Hospital, No. 2530 January Term, 1973.
A. C. Coney, Jr., with him Bruce Wiegand and Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Johnson & Hutchison, for appellant.
Raymond W. Cromer, Assistant Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman, Assistant Attorney General, Francis A. Zulli, Assistant Attorney General, and James L. Crawford, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. President Judge Bowman dissents.
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We have carefully read the record and considered the contentions advanced by the Allegheny General Hospital, appellant here. We conclude that the court below not only rendered the correct decision but adequately
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stated the reasons for that decision in its opinion. Accordingly, we hereby affirm on the opinion of Judge Ross for the court below and, because it has not been heretofore reported, we set it forth in full.
"Allegheny General Hospital has appealed from the order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board entered November 6, 1972, in which the Board certified the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 95-95A, AFL-CIO, as the exclusive representative of the approximately 55 maintenance employees of the hospital for the purpose of collective bargaining with respect to wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.
"The union had petitioned the board on April 6, 1971, alleging its right to represent thirty (30) percent or more of certain hospital employees. After hearing on October 15 and 20, 1971, the board on May 23, 1972, issued an order and notice directing an election by secret ballot on June 15, 1972, in the subdivision of hospital employees comprised of maintenance workers, and excluding management level employees, supervisors, first level supervisors, confidential employees and guards as defined in the Public Employe Relations Act of June 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. § 1101.101 et seq.
"After the election, the board issued a nisi order certifying the union as the exclusive representative of the hospital maintenance staff. Exceptions to the nisi order filed by the hospital were argued before the board and dismissed by the order from which this appeal was taken.
"The hospital contests the appropriateness and legality of the certified unit, which consists of 26 job classifications in the hospital maintenance department, and asserts that the appropriate and legal unit is one
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consisting of 37 classifications in the areas of maintenance and housekeeping. It is contended that the order of the board violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, requires action by the employer in violation of civil rights statutes, denies equal opportunity to persons working in the 11 excluded occupations, and is not in conformity with the Public Employe Relations Act of June 23, 1970, supra.
"The scope of review by this Court of the order of the board is found in Section 1502 of the Public Employe Relations Act, supra, 43 P.S. § 1101.1502, which provides that the Court may enter a decree enforcing, modifying and enforcing as so modified or setting aside, in whole or in part, the order of the board. It further provides that findings of fact by the board are conclusive if supported by substantial and legally credible evidence.
"Under the similar Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, § 9, 43 P.S. § 211.9, it has been held that this Court may not substitute its judgment concerning an appropriate bargaining unit but may only determine whether the evidence in support of the board's decision is substantial and legally credible and whether the board's conclusions are unreasonable, arbitrary or illegal: Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Butz, 411 Pa. 360, 374-5.
"At the hearing below the hospital adduced testimony showing that its proposed unit would include 32 classifications in its maintenance department and 5 in the housekeeping department. The board accepted the union proposal excluding 6 of the maintenance department classifications and all but [sic] 5 of the housekeeping department.
"18 of the 37 classifications (housekeeping and maintenance) are normally considered crafts and skills and were placed in the certified unit (carpenter, electrician,
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painter, plumber, plasterer, sheet metal worker, elevator repairman, refrigeration repairman, ...