Raymond F. Sekula, Thomas A. Kovalchick, John W. Peck, II, George, Wasson, Sekula, Kovalchick & Irwin, Arnold, for appellant.
George A. Conti, Jr., Greensburg, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a concurring opinion in which O'Brien and Pomeroy, JJ., joined. Nix, J., concurred in the result. Eagen, C. J., dissents.
When collective bargaining between appellant, the Fraternal Order of Police, Jeannette Lodge No. 24 (referred to as F.O.P.) and appellee, the city of Jeannette (a city of the third class referred to as Jeannette), reached an impasse, a board of arbitration was empaneled in accordance with the
Act of June 24, 1968, P.L. 237, No. 111, § 1 et seq., 43 P.S. 217.1 et seq. (herein referred to as "the Act"). F.O.P. selected Raymond F. Sekula, its attorney, as its representative on the board while Jeannette chose George A. Conti, Jr., its solicitor, as its representative on the board. Pursuant to the procedure mandated by the Act, those two arbitrators chose an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association to fill the third position on the board.
After an arbitration hearing was held, the independent arbitrator submitted an award. This award provided (among other things) that members of Jeannette's police force could retire from the force with full benefits after a straight twenty years of service. Copies of the independent arbitrator's award were forwarded to Conti and Sekula for review.
On January 20, 1976, after review Sekula (the F.O.P. arbitrator) concurred in writing to the independent arbitrator's award. Sekula forwarded his copy of the award to Conti (Jeannette's arbitrator). On January 21, 1976, Conti dissented from the award and forwarded Conti's and Sekula's copies of the award to the independent arbitrator. The independent arbitrator forwarded same to the American Arbitration Association and on February 2, 1976, the American Arbitration Association sent copies of the award to all parties concerned. Receipt of these copies occurred on February 5, 1976.
On March 8, 1976, Jeannette filed an application in Commonwealth Court for review of the board's award. The Commonwealth Court granted said application.
F.O.P. filed a motion to quash Jeannette's application for review, claiming that said application for review was untimely because it was not filed " thirty days after the date of the award " as ...