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ROSEMARY HOLLINGER AND E. ELIZABETH MILLER v. DEPARTMENT PUBLIC WELFARE COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/15/75)

decided: May 15, 1975.

ROSEMARY HOLLINGER AND E. ELIZABETH MILLER, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, HELENE WOHLGEMUTH, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, FRANK BEAL, SECRETARY OF THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE JOINT BARGAINING COMMITTEE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY EMPLOYES' ASSOCIATION AND THE PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, PA. SECURITY EMPLOYES ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, PA. SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, AFL-CIO, AND SERVICE EMPLOYES INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO, DEFENDANTS. JOHN MOOK, E. GAIL ZEIGLER, VERNA L. SCHAEFER, MARIA A. CONTINO, KENNETH E. SCHAEFER, JONATHAN WITMER, DOROTHY RIFFLE, JOHN P. SHOWERS, ELLIOTT E. SMITH, FREDA ABERS, LOIS SCHEIFFLEY, WILLIAM E. GRAFFIUS, AND ROSEMARY CAOLO, PLAINTIFFS, V. MILTON J. SHAPP, GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, HELENE WOHLGEMUTH, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, FRANK BEAL, SECRETARY OF THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE JOINT BARGAINING COMMITTEE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY EMPLOYES' ASSOCIATION AND THE PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, PA. SECURITY EMPLOYES ASSOCIATION, AFL-CIO, PA. SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, AFL-CIO, AND SERVICE EMPLOYES INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO, DEFENDANTS



Original jurisdiction in cases of Rosemary Hollinger and E. Elizabeth Miller v. the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Office of Administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Frank Beal, Secretary of the Office of Administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Joint Bargaining Committee of the Pennsylvania Employment Security Employes' Association and the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Pa. Security Employes Association, AFL-CIO Pa. Social Services Union, AFL-CIO, and Service Employes International Union, AFL-CIO, Defendants; and John Mook, E. Gail Zeigler, Verna L. Schaefer, Maria A. Contino, Kenneth E. Schaefer, Jonathan Witmer, Dorothy Riffle, John P. Showers, Elliott E. Smith, Freda Abers, Lois Scheiffley, William E. Graffius, and Rosemary Caolo v. Milton J. Shapp, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Office of Administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Frank Beal, Secretary of the Office of Administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Joint Bargaining Committee of the Pennsylvania Employment Security Employers' Association and the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Pa. Security Employes Association, AFL-CIO, Pa. Social Services Union, AFL-CIO, and Service Employes International Union, AFL-CIO.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Beckley, with him Craig W. Bremer and Beckley & Grove, for plaintiffs.

Stephen A. Sheller, with him Astor & Weiss, for defendant, Unions.

Gerry J. Elman, Deputy Attorney General, with him Lawrence Silver, Deputy Attorney General, Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for defendant, Commonwealth.

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

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. J. Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 77]

Before us are preliminary objections by defendants to plaintiffs' complaints in equity in two closely related cases which we will dispose of in one opinion.

In each case defendants assert a want of jurisdiction in equity because plaintiffs in each case enjoy an adequate remedy at law. Within the context of resolving this issue we accept as true all well-pleaded averments of fact in the respective plaintiffs' complaints. Bruhin v. Commonwealth, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 300, 320 A.2d 907 (1974). Additionally, a partial stipulation of facts was filed in each case and there is no dispute as to the facts material to the issue to be disposed of.

In both cases, the plaintiffs are employes of the Commonwealth. In Mook, plaintiffs are "rank and file" employes who became subject to a collective bargaining agreement entered into June 1, 1972, between the Commonwealth as employer and the certified bargaining representative for this group of employes pursuant to the Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.101 et seq. (Act). Article III (Union Security) and Article IV (Dues Deduction) of the agreement contain Article IV (Dues Deduction) of the agreement contain standard maintenance of membership provisions which, as pertinent here, require the employer, with the

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 78]

    employe's written consent, to deduct membership dues and assessments during the term of the agreement with a right in any member employe to resign union membership and terminate dues deduction authorization during the fifteen (15) day period prior to the expiration of the agreement.

In Hollinger, plaintiffs are "first level supervisors." Their certified representative for the purpose of meeting and discussing entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth as employer on January 22, 1973, which in Recommendation No. 2 contained maintenance of membership provisions identical to those recited above as to the "rank and file" contract. However, Recommendation No. 25 specifically provides that the "memorandum ...


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