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PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION v. PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD (12/15/76)

decided: December 15, 1976.

PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, LOCAL 668, AFFILIATED WITH SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO
v.
PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in case of Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Local 668, affiliated with Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. PERA-C-7567-C.

COUNSEL

Stephen A. Sheller, with him Faye R. Cohen, Eric B. Chaikin, and Pechner, Dorfman, Wolffe & Rounick, for appellant.

Forest N. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, with him James F. Wildeman, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Mencer

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 553]

This case is before us on a motion to quash and, should we deny the motion, on the merits. We are asked first to decide whether a letter from the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) administratively dismissing a charge

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 554]

    of unfair labor practices and refusing to issue a complaint is properly appealable to this Court. If we answer affirmatively, the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Local 668 (PSSU) asks us to decide then whether the Board abused its discretion by allegedly failing to investigate the charges of unfair labor practices before dismissing them. Both issues raise questions of first impression under the Public Employe Relations Act*fn1 (Act 195).

The facts of this case are not in dispute. PSSU filed with the Board charges of unfair labor practices based on alleged violations of Section 1201(a)(3) and (5) of Act 195, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.1201(a)(3), (5), which reads:

(a) Public employers, their agents or representatives are prohibited from:

(3) Discriminating in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any employe organization.

(5) Refusing to bargain collectively in good faith with an employe representative which is the exclusive representative of employes in an appropriate unit, including but not limited to the discussing of grievances with the exclusive representative.

The charges stemmed from a letter to PSSU from management announcing a unilaterally determined raise in the cost of lunches which are made available at institutions to certain Commonwealth employees represented by PSSU. An expedited hearing was requested.

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 555]

By letter dated January 15, 1976, the Executive Director of the Board informed PSSU's representative that he had been authorized by the Board to dismiss PSSU's charges administratively. The letter suggested that PSSU seek relief through grievance procedures. PSSU filed exceptions on January 26, 1976, which were dismissed in similar ...


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