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BROWNSVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/01/74)

decided: October 1, 1974.

BROWNSVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, APPELLEE, AND PENNSYLVANIA NURSES ASSOCIATION, INTERVENING APPELLEE. PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, PETITIONER, V. BROWNSVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County in case of In the Matter of the Employees of Brownsville General Hospital, No. 398 December Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Beckley, with him Beckley & Grove, for appellant.

Raymond W. Cromer, with him James F. Wildeman and James L. Crawford, for appellee.

Kent H. Patterson, with him Cleckner and Fearen, for intervening appellee.

Jerome H. Gerber, with him Handler, Gerber and Weinstock, for amicus curiae, Pennsylvania State AFL-CIO.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. President Judge Bowman did not participate. President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Mencer. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. Judge Rogers joins in this dissent.

Author: Crumlish

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 430]

The important question raised by this appeal is whether or not a private, non-profit hospital participating in federal and state medical assistance programs and the past recipient of federal plant construction matching funds, is a "public employer" within the meaning of Section 301(1) of the Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. § 1101.301(1),

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 431]

(Act 195), and therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

A petition for representation was filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) on December 6, 1971 by the Office and Professional Employees, International Union, AFL-CIO (OPEIU), seeking recognition as the collective bargaining agent for all professional and non-professional employes of Brownsville General Hospital (Hospital), Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Upon the motion of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association (PNA), alleging that it represented a majority of the registered and licensed practical nurses employed by Hospital, PNA was thereafter permitted to intervene in the representation proceedings. On January 21, 1972, Hospital filed a motion to dismiss the petition for a lack of jurisdiction claiming that it was not a "public employer" within the meaning of Section 301(1) of Act 195. At a hearing held before a trial examiner on February 17, 1972, Hospital stipulated that it is a non-profit corporation, and all parties stipulated to the accuracy of the following financial data relative to Hospital's fiscal year ending June 30, 1971, its first fiscal year during which Act 195 became effective.*fn1 Hospital had an approximate income from operations of $2,391,000.00; of that amount, $764,681.00 was composed of Federal Medicare payments, and $312,714.00 in Pennsylvania Medical Assistance payments;*fn2 and $1,000.00 was received from Fayette County "as partial

[ 15 Pa. Commw. Page 432]

    reimbursement by the County for the care of County Home patients." The parties also agreed that Hospital received a construction grant of $1,800,000.00 in 1965 under the Federal Accelerated Work Program, which constituted ...


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