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WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS v. PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE STATE TRIAL JUDGES AND WASHINGTON COUNTY COURT COMMON PLEAS AND PRESIDENT JUDGE CHARLES SWEET (07/03/80)

decided: July 3, 1980.

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, PETITIONER,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD; PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE OF STATE TRIAL JUDGES; AND THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS AND PRESIDENT JUDGE CHARLES SWEET, RESPONDENTS



No. 33 W.D., Misc. Docket 1980, Petition for Review and Application for Injunction, Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Prohibition

COUNSEL

Alex E. Echard, Gen. Counsel, Felice Associates, Inc., Greensburg, for petitioners.

Alexander Unkovic, William Meyer, Joseph Vater, Jr., Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, Pittsburgh, for Pa. Conference of State Trial Judges.

W. Gregory, Jr., Washington, D. C., Court Administrator of Washington County, James Crawford, Pa. Labor Relations Bd., Donald A. Wallace, Harrisburg, for respondents.

Rothman, Gordon, Foreman & Groudine, Louis B. Kushner, Stephen H. Jordan, Pittsburgh, for intervenors (Service Employees International Union, Local 585, AFL-CIO).

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.

Author: Kauffman

[ 490 Pa. Page 528]

OPINION OF THE COURT

On February 11, 1980, the Commissioners of Washington County (hereinafter "Commissioners"), filed the Petition now before us, in which they seek: (1) direct review of an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (hereinafter "PLRB") creating two bargaining units of employees directly involved with and necessary to the functioning of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County; (2) prohibition of allegedly improper conduct of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, President Judge Charles Sweet, and the Pennsylvania Conference of State

[ 490 Pa. Page 529]

Trial Judges (hereinafter "PCSTJ"); and (3) an order restraining the PLRB from taking any further action in the representation election scheduled for February 14, 1980.

The proceedings from which this matter arises began on June 19, 1972, when the Service Employees International Union (hereinafter "SEIU") filed with the PLRB a Petition for Representation of all court-related employees of Washington County. The first question to reach this Court was whether the judges of the Court of Common Pleas constitute the public employer of certain court-related employees for purposes of collective bargaining under the Public Employee Relations Act, Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 536, No. 195, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.101 et seq. (hereinafter "Act 195"). In Sweet v. PLRB, 457 Pa. 456, 322 A.2d 362 (1974) (Sweet I), we answered in the affirmative, holding that the judges "are at least an employer of some of the employees included in the bargaining unit comprised of court-related employees" Id., 457 Pa. at 462, 322 A.2d at 365 (emphasis in original). Subsequently, in Sweet v. PLRB, 479 Pa. 449, 388 A.2d 740 (1978) (Sweet II), we held that the "[C]ommissioners of Washington County are the managerial representative in collective bargaining and representation proceedings under [Act 195] involving employees supervised by judges of the ...


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