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PETER L. SCUOTEGUAZZA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/06/79)

decided: April 6, 1979.

PETER L. SCUOTEGUAZZA, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. DAVID L. COLES, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. HAROLD T. CUNNINGHAM, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. DONALD LAW, SR., PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. JAMES W. MCDADE, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. KENNETH D. SPAW, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. GEORGE P. HUNT, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the State Civil Service Commission in cases of Peter L. Scuoteguazza v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1848; David L. Coles v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1827; Harold T. Cunningham v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1830; Donald Law, Sr. v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1839; James W. McDade v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1842; Kenneth D. Spaw v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1849; and George P. Hunt v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 1993.

COUNSEL

Robert L. Webster, with him Webster, Hallal and Webster, for petitioners.

Frank A. Fisher, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

Richard Kirschner, Jonathan K. Walters, and Markowitz & Kirschner, for amicus curiae, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 536]

This is the appeal of seven former regular status civil service employes of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) from orders of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission upholding their furloughs from State employment.

In the fall of 1975 the Secretary of Transportation directed the Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration to determine whether overstaffing existed within PennDOT. Pursuant to this directive, PennDOT's Manpower Planning Unit analyzed the active and planned construction projects in each highway district and compared the manpower needs of these projects with the number of personnel available in each district. District 12-0, where the appellants were employed, was found to have excess construction and

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 537]

    design personnel and a reduction in the work force was recommended. The appellants were selected for furlough because they lacked seniority within their respective classification series as provided by Section 802 of the Civil Service Act and Article XXIX of the collective bargaining agreement then in effect between the Commonwealth and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME). The appellants appealed their furloughs to the Civil Service Commission which refused hearings, ruling that the Commission could not review furloughs ordered pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. On appeal to this Court we vacated the Commission's orders and remanded the records to the Commission for hearing and decision. Scuoteguazza v. Department of Transportation, 28 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 403, 368 A.2d 869 (1977). On remand, the Commission held a hearing as directed and entered the orders appealed from.

Prior to its amendment in 1974, Section 802 of the Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. ยง 741.802, which relates to furloughs, was pertinently, as follows:

In case a reduction in force is necessary in the classified service, no employe shall be furloughed while any probationary or provisional employe is employed in the same class in the same department or agency, and no probationary employe shall be furloughed while a provisional employe is employed in the same class in the same department or agency. An employe shall be furloughed only if at the time he is furloughed, he is within the lowest quarter among all employes of the employer in the same class on ...


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