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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. COUNCIL 13 (06/01/79)

decided: June 1, 1979.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PETITIONER
v.
COUNCIL 13, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, BY AND THROUGH ITS TRUSTEE AD LITEM, GERALD W. MCENTEE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Award of arbitrator in case of In the Matter of Council 13, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, by and through its Trustee Ad Litem Gerald W. McEntee, dated April 28, 1978.

COUNSEL

John D. Raup, Assistant Attorney General, for petitioner.

Richard Kirschner, with him Jonathan K. Walters, and Markowitz & Kirschner, for respondent.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and Craig. Judges Wilkinson, Jr. and MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. President Judge Bowman concurs in the result only. Judge Mencer dissents.

Author: Crumlish

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 178]

We affirm the arbitrator's award which is the subject of this appeal.

A three-week budget impasse in the General Assembly in August, 1977, temporarily suspended legislative appropriations. During the period of impasse,

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 179]

    many state employees, including those represented by AFSCME,*fn1 were not paid.*fn2

Before us to decide are the following questions: Does the arbitrator's determination that the Commonwealth violated the collective bargaining agreement in failing to make the prescribed bi-weekly salary payments during the impasse draw its essence from the agreement? Secondly, is the arbitrator empowered to award interest on monies improperly withheld?

Our scope of review of an arbitration award is stringently restricted to a consideration of whether the award draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement or whether there is any rational basis in the agreement for such an award. Community College of Beaver County v. Community College of Beaver County, Society of the Faculty (PSEA/NEA), 473 Pa. 576, 375 A.2d 1267 (1977). On review, the arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' intent is treated as a finding of fact. Only will we disturb his findings when the arbitrator has manifestly

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 180]

    disregarded the terms of the agreement; a claim that an arbitrator has incorrectly interpreted the intention of the parties to the agreement is not cognizable on appeal. Leechburg Area School District v. ...


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