Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of City of Scranton v. Local Union No. 669 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, No. 80 Civil 1981.
Thomas Jennings, of Counsel: Sagot & Jennings, for appellant.
Edmund J. Scacchitti, City Solicitor, with him John J. Brazil, Assistant City Solicitor, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 106]
Local Union No. 669 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, appeals a Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas order, which vacated a portion of a labor arbitrator's award, involving an interpretation of a provision in the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the City of Scranton.*fn1 The court ruled that the arbitrator improperly ordered the city to maintain a minimum complement of 215 regularly appointed fire fighters.
The disputed*fn2 provision of the agreement is Article XVIII, Section 1, which provides in relevant part:
The City agrees with the Union that there shall be no arbitrary or capricious changes in job classifications, the transfers of personnel or reduction in force, or the creation of new job classifications. . . .
The union asserted before the arbitrator that the city had violated this provision by reducing the
[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 107]
number of fire fighters to under 215 persons, the work force level at the time the agreement became effective. The arbitrator agreed, and directed the city, "[t]o maintain a minimum level of bargaining unit members at 215 for a two-year period first commencing with the date on which the number of fire fighters is in fact returned to 215."
In its appeal to the common pleas court, the city asserted that the arbitrator should be reversed for failing to interpret the disputed provision as requiring a showing that the city's reduction in the work force was arbitrary and capricious.*fn3
Although the common pleas court noted that the matter of maintaining a minimum work force was contained within the terms of the agreement, it relied upon our decision in Scholastic Technical Service Employees v. Pennsylvania State ...