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ROBERT GARDOCKI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/14/79)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 14, 1979.

ROBERT GARDOCKI, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the arbitration Award in case of In the Matter of Arbitration between American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 77-147.

COUNSEL

Joseph S. Nescio, with him John J. O'Brien, for petitioner.

Robert J. Schwartz, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 580]

Robert Gardocki, a former employee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and member of its certified bargaining agent (AFSCME*fn1), appeals on evidentiary grounds an arbitrator's award and order which upheld his dismissal for just cause. PennDOT has filed a motion to quash the appeal asserting, inter alia, that Gardocki lacks standing to appeal the arbitration award.

We agree and dismiss the appeal.

Gardocki was fired from his position as a Real Estate Specialist on June 10, 1977, for conflict of interest*fn2 and falsification of his address on his expense vouchers and PennDOT records. He filed a grievance

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 581]

    under Article XXXIX of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between PennDOT and AFSCME which at Step V*fn3 allows the Union to submit the grievance to binding arbitration by an arbitrator jointly selected by AFSCME and PennDOT.*fn4

PennDOT argues that since the collective bargaining agreement has given AFSCME the exclusive right to pursue a grievance to arbitration, only it and AFSCME, the signatories of the collective bargaining agreement, have standing to appeal the award.

Our recent decision, McCluskey v. Commonwealth, Department of Transportation, 37 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 598, 606-07, 391 A.2d 45, 50 (1978), dealing with the same arbitration procedure, denied individual employees standing to appeal an arbitrator's award:

We believe, however, that giving the union the responsibility for processing a grievance with the employer before an Arbitrator which is characteristic of the law in the private sector, is equally applicable to public sector labor law. The adjustment and settlement of grievances between a public employer and a union before an Arbitrator are intended to be binding upon

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 582]

    both parties to the Agreement (see Step V in the Agreement), and we believe, therefore, that the Appellants who were not parties to the arbitration proceedings lack standing to appeal from the award thereunder. (Footnote omitted.)

Further elaboration of Judge Blatt's able discussion in McCluskey, supra, is unnecessary.

Accordingly, we

Order

And Now, this 14th day of May, 1979, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation's motion to quash the above-captioned appeal is hereby granted and the appeal is hereby dismissed.

Disposition

Motion granted. Appeal dismissed.


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