Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in the case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Upper Darby Township, Mayor Eugene D. Kane, Howard I. Hatoff, Arbitrator, Case No. PF-C-80-37-E.
Alexander A. DiSanti, Richard, Brian, DiSanti & Hamilton, for petitioner.
Ellis H. Katz, with him, James L. Crawford, Anthony C. Busillo, II and Alvin S. Ackerman, for respondents.
Judges Blatt, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 193]
The Delaware County Lodge No. 27, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) seeks review of the refusal of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) to issue a complaint against Upper Darby Township, the employer, based upon the FOP's charge of unfair labor practice.*fn1
This dispute involves the FOP's assertion that the township delayed the collective bargaining process for fiscal year 1980 with the intention of causing the FOP to fail to comply with the mandatory time requirements established in Act 111,*fn2 which provides for collective bargaining between policemen and their public employers, and mandates binding arbitration, with no right to strike, if bargaining reaches an impasse. In describing the factual background, we note two significant deadlines imposed in section 3 of Act 111, which provides:
Collective bargaining shall begin at least six months before the start of the fiscal year of the political subdivision or of the Commonwealth, as the case may be. Any request for arbitration,
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 194]
as hereinafter provided, shall be made at least 110 days before the start of said fiscal year.*fn3
On May 7, 1979, the FOP filed a petition for investigation and certification of representatives with the PLRB seeking to represent the township's police officers.*fn4 On May 19, 1979, the PLRB received a request for intervention from the Local Representatives Association of Upper Darby Police Officers (association). Thereafter, the FOP filed a request for an expedited election with the PLRB under section 7(c) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA),*fn5 and on June 19, 1979, the township's police officers held an election, which resulted in an overwhelming victory for the FOP.
Thereafter, the PLRB delayed the certification of the FOP, after the township had petitioned the PLRB to determine whether higher-ranked police officers were included in the bargaining unit. On July 23, 1979, a PLRB examiner conducted a hearing, which involved the township and FOP, regarding the make-up of the appropriate bargaining unit.
Concurrent with the election and related litigation, the FOP attempted unsuccessfully to enter into negotiations with the township to reach a collective bargaining agreement for fiscal year 1980. On ...