Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Anthony J. Giovinazzo v. The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, No. 77-06535.
Application for reargument filed and denied.
Richard S. Watts, with him Robert S. Maerz and Morris Gerber, Gerber, Maerz, Bresnan & Detwiler, for appellant.
Mary Teresa Gavigan, Assistant Attorney General, with her James L. Crawford and Larry J. Rappoport, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.
Thomas M. Garrity, with him Michael J. O'Donoghue, Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Craig & Garrity, for Springfield Township, appellee.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 427]
Anthony J. Giovinazzo (appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County affirming a final decision of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board). The Board had determined that the appellant's discharge
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 428]
from employment by Springfield Township (Township) was not an unfair labor practice under the Public Employe Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, as amended, 43 P.S. § 1101.101 et seq.
The appellant worked as an assistant engineer for the Township until January 17, 1975. On that date he was discharged by the Township Manager, James R. Fulginiti. On February 24, 1975 the appellant filed with the Board an unfair labor practice charge against the Township. The appellant alleged that he was discharged for attempting to organize a labor union for Township employees and that, therefore, his discharge was an unfair labor practice under Sections 1201(a)(1) and (3) of the Public Employe Relations Act. 43 P.S. § 1101.1201(a)(1), (3). Based on the appellant's charge the Board issued a complaint.
The Township answered the complaint asserting that it had discharged the appellant for his failure to abide by Township rules and regulations, to obey orders and directives of his superiors, and to maintain reasonable standards of work competence. After hearings on the matter, the Board issued a nisi decision and order on September 17, 1976, ruling that the Township did not commit an unfair labor practice in resolving to end the appellant's employment, but had committed an unfair practice by accelerating the date his actual discharge was to take place.
In reaching its decision, the Board found that the Township had scheduled the appellant for discharge prior to any union activities on his part, due to a planned reorganization of its engineering department that eliminated the appellant's position. More specifically, the Board found that in late November 1974, several ...