Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. United Transportation Union, (AFL-CIO) an unincorporated association, et al., No. 75-4420.
Alexander A. DiSanti, with him Howard Richard, and Richard, Brian, DiSanti & Hamilton, for appellants.
Bruce W. Kauffman, with him John F. Smith, III; Richard S. Meyer; Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish and Levy; Lewis H. Van Dusen, Jr.; John Markle, Jr.; Drinker, Biddle and Reath ; and, of counsel, Robert B. Surrick ; and Cramp, D'Iorio, McConchie and Surrick, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County under which members of the United Transportation Union, Local 1594 (Union) were enjoined from engaging in a strike against the
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) pursuant to the prohibitory language of the Public Employe Relations Act,*fn1 (Act 195). By enacting the said Act 195, the General Assembly attempted to regulate collective bargaining between public employers and their employes so that contract settlements might be achieved in a timely manner through the fullest use of bargaining procedures while at the same time public employees are granted the right to strike. The intention was, it would seem, to protect the public from unnecessary suffering due to the numerous inconveniences which result from work stoppages and also from the untimely settlement of agreements which interfere with the independent process of public budgeting. Unfortunately, however, Act 195 has been correctly characterized by Judge Rogers of this Court as "often tentative, imprecise, elliptical and incomplete, leaving the hard choices either to the improbable chance that they 'may not come up,' or to the courts." Bellefonte Area School Board v. The Bellefonte Area Education Association, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 210, 212, 304 A.2d 922, 923 (1973).
In this action the parties have called upon the Court to resolve such imprecise rights, and the provisions giving rise to the controversy and relied upon by the court below are Sections 801, 802, and 1002 of Act 195, 43 P.S. §§ 1101.801, 1101.802, 1101.1002. These provide as follows:
"Strikes by public employes during the pendency of collective bargaining procedures set forth in sections 801 and 802 of Article VIII are prohibited. In the event of a strike during this period the public employer shall forthwith initiate an action for the same relief and utilizing the same procedures required for prohibited strikes under section 1001."