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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOINT BARGAINING COMMITTEE PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY EMPLOYES ASSOCIATION AND PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION (05/19/78)

decided: May 19, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PETITIONER
v.
JOINT BARGAINING COMMITTEE OF PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY EMPLOYES ASSOCIATION AND THE PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL SERVICES UNION, BOTH AFFILIATED WITH THE SERVICES EMPLOYES INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Arbitrator's Award in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Employment Security Employees' Association (PSSU/PESEA, No. 75-4133); David L. Clowes (PESEA No. 75-0716-007; BES No. 235 S & R).

COUNSEL

Michael H. Small, Assistant Attorney General, with him Kurt H. Decker, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for petitioner.

Stephen A. Sheller, with him Bruce M. Ludwig, and Sheller & Chaikin, for respondent.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 348]

This is a petition for review of an arbitration award ordering the reinstatement of David L. Clowes (Clowes) to his position as an employe of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bureau of Employment Security (Commonwealth). Since the arbitrator's award was based on a reasonable interpretation of an agreement between the Commonwealth and the Joint Bargaining Committee of Pennsylvania Employment Security Employes Association and the Pennsylvania Social Services Union (Union), we must deny the petition and affirm the award.

Between July 1, 1975 and July 21, 1975, certain of the various employes represented by the Union were

[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

    engaged in a strike in support of the Union's position in ongoing collective bargaining with the Commonwealth. On the evening of July 8, 1975, Clowes, a striking employe, gained entrance to an office of the Bureau of Employment Security by misrepresenting to the janitor that someone was planning to break into the office and steal the Bureau's files. Clowes then pretended to telephone the manager of the office and told the janitor that the manager wanted the files hidden. Clowes suggested that the janitor remove all the files and put them into a garbage bag on the floor, and the janitor complied with the suggestion. Clowes never touched the files personally.*fn1 The Union has asserted, without contradiction by the Commonwealth, that Clowes' motive was to cause problems for employes of the office who were not honoring the picket lines.

On August 6, 1975, Clowes was discharged by the Commonwealth for the July 8 incident. On August 14, 1975, the Commonwealth and the Union signed a collective bargaining agreement and a "Letter of Understanding." The Letter of Understanding contained the following "amnesty clause":

There shall be no disciplinary action initiated by the Employer against employes in this bargaining unit for strike activities during the period of time between July 1, 1975 to July 21, 1975.

The amnesty does not apply to any employe who committed crimes or ...


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