Appeals from a Decision of the Secretary of Administration in cases of Louis H. Schum and Forest R. Reeves, Employe Grievances on Stand-By Time.
James A. Burgess, Jr., with him Burgess, Casey & Janson, for appellants.
Beverly A. Nelson, Deputy Attorney General, with her Vincent X. Yakowicz, Solicitor General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 357]
We have consolidated for argument and disposition the appeals of Louis H. Schum and Forest R. Reeves from the action of the State Secretary for Administration refusing to convene a grievance panel to hear the appellants' complaints concerning their wages.
Messrs. Schum and Reeves were management employes of the Commonwealth's Department of Health performing property maintenance work at the Henry R.
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 358]
Landis State Hospital in Philadelphia. They assert that the Business Manager of the Hospital, due to a shortage of help at the institution, assigned each of them the additional duty of being available for work on a standby basis for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week on alternate weeks. The appellants further assert that the Business Manager declared that each would receive as extra compensation for each hour of this additional duty a sum equal to one-fourth of his straight hourly rate of pay. The appellants claim to have served standby duty in the fashion directed for a period of a year. It appears that they received some extra compensation for this activity, apparently at the mistaken rate of one and one-half times their hourly rates. After extra compensation was discontinued at the direction of the Hospital's controller, the appellants claimed, and still claim, that they are owed money on account of uncompensated standby served.
The appellants sought to obtain the compensation allegedly due by filing grievances in accordance with the provisions for such relating to management employes established by regulations of the Executive Board to be found at 4 Pa. Code § 37.1 et seq.
The cited regulations provide for a four step grievance procedure. At the first two steps, to the appellants' immediate supervisor and to their division head, the appellants' claims were denied. At the third and fourth steps, to their agency head and to the Office of Administration of the Governor's Office, the appellants were refused hearings. Their application to the Office of Administration was responded to by letter of the State's Secretary of Administration informing them that the grievance procedures were not available for the redress for claims for compensation. The appellants, apparently concluding that the Secretary of Administration's letter constituted an adjudication, have appealed therefrom pursuant to Section 41 of the Administrative Agency Law,
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 359]
Act of June 4, 1945, P.L. 1388, as amended, 71 ...