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ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/17/77)

decided: June 17, 1977.

ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER, NORTHERN DIVISION, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD AND PENNSYLVANIA NURSES ASSOCIATION, APPELLEES. (2 CASES)



Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and Pennsylvania Nurses Association, Nos. 451 and 452 August Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

William A. Whiteside, Jr., with him Howard R. Flaxman, and Nathan L. Posner, for appellant.

Forest N. Myers, Assistant Attorney General, with him James L. Crawford, Assistant Attorney General, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Concurring Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Blatt

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 615]

The Albert Einstein Medical Center (Einstein) appeals from two orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which affirmed the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board's (Board) certifications of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association (PNA) as representative of two groups of Einstein employes.

After the necessary election had been held and oral argument had been heard concerning the appropriateness of the units, the Board issued two final orders: (1) certifying PNA as the exclusive collective bargaining representative for approximately 500 full-time and regular part-time registered and licensed practical nurses, including assistant head nurses, public health coordinators, home care nurse coordinators, and in-service instruction coordinators; and (2) certifying PNA as the exclusive representative of a "meet and discuss" unit of approximately 25 head nurses. The lower court dismissed Einstein's appeal from these certifications and this appeal followed.

Our scope of review here is limited to a determination of whether or not the findings of the Board are supported by substantial and legally credible evidence and whether or not its conclusions are reasonable and not capricious, arbitrary or illegal. Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 204, 330 A.2d 257 (1974). Section 604 of the Public Employe Relations

[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 616]

Act*fn1 (Act), 43 P.S. ยง 1101.604, delegates to the Board the duty of determining the appropriateness of a unit:

The board shall determine the appropriateness of a unit which shall be the public employer unit or a subdivision thereof. In determining the appropriateness of the unit, the board shall:

(1) Take into consideration but shall not be limited to the following: (i) public employes must have an identifiable community of interest, and (ii) the effects of over-fragmentization.

Einstein first asserts that the two units certified here will lead to over-fragmentization of personnel and that, because hospital employes function as a "team," the appropriate unit would be one which includes all employes, not just nurses. This Court has held previously that the team approach to patient care does not automatically establish an identifiable community of interest for collective bargaining purposes and, further, that the certification of several units would not necessarily be detrimental to the efficient operation of the team. Western Psychiatric Institute, supra. Einstein has itself established a separate Nursing Service Department with a unique supervisory structure which includes only registered and licensed practical nurses. Moreover, the record contains evidence to substantiate the Board's conclusion that registered and licensed practical nurses perform sufficiently similar duties to establish a single community of interest. We recognize the ...


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