No. 81-3-377, Appeal by Permission from Certified Interlocutory Order of the Commonwealth Court at No. 1492 C.D. 1980, dated September 11, 1980.
James L. Crawford, Anthony C. Busillo, Asst. Atty. Gen., for Pennsylvania Labor Relations Bd.
Alvin S. Ackerman, Upper Darby, for remaining appellees.
Alexander A. DiSanti, Media, for appellant.
O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott and Hutchinson, JJ.
This matter is here by way of a grant of permission to appeal from a certified interlocutory order of the Commonwealth Court. See 42 Pa.C.S. § 702(b) and Pa.R.A.P. 312. At issue is whether an appeal from an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board upholding the refusal of the Board's secretary to issue a complaint on unfair labor practice charges brought by a police union is to be taken to the Commonwealth Court or to the courts of common pleas. Appellant Delaware County Lodge # 27 (Fraternal Order of Police) appealed such an order to the Commonwealth Court. That court held that jurisdiction properly lies in the courts of common pleas and accordingly transferred the appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. Because we conclude that the appeal was properly taken to the Commonwealth Court pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 763, we vacate the order of the Commonwealth Court and remand for disposition of the merits of the appeal.
In June of 1979, police officers of Upper Darby Township elected appellant union to be their representative for purposes of collective bargaining pursuant to "Act 111," Act of June 24, 1968, P.L. 237, § 1 et seq., 43 P.S. § 217.1 et seq. (Supp. 1981). In October of 1979, the Township filed a motion with the PLRB alleging that there had been improprieties in the election. In February of 1980, after several hearings, the PLRB sustained the Township's claim and set aside the results of the election. The PLRB also dismissed charges of unfair labor practices filed by appellant against the Township for having refused to bargain for the 1980 calendar year while the dispute over the validity of the election was pending. 11 PPER para. 11069.
After further proceedings, the PLRB certified appellant as exclusive bargaining representative. Appellant filed new unfair labor practice charges with the PLRB in which it again challenged the Township's refusal to bargain for the 1980 calendar year. The Secretary declined to issue a complaint. On June 4, 1980, the PLRB dismissed appellant's exceptions. According to the Board,
"it was because a question of representation had arisen and because the administrative process had not yet run its course in resolving that question that the time-tables for arbitration for 1980 could not be met."
11 PPER para. 11134. It is from this determination of the PLRB that appellant took the appeal in ...