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COUNTY LEHIGH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/01/83)

decided: September 1, 1983.

COUNTY OF LEHIGH, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in case of In The Matter of the Employes of Lehigh County, Case No. PERA-R-11, 852-C.

COUNSEL

Wilbur C. Creveling, Jr., for petitioner.

Ellis H. Katz, with him James L. Crawford and Anthony C. Busillo, II, for respondent, Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Bruce M. Ludwig, with him Robert A. Sloan, for intervenor, Pennsylvania Social Services Union.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Williams

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 642]

Lehigh County (county) petitions for review of the final order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) dismissing most exceptions filed by the County to the PLRB's nisi order which certified the Service

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 643]

Employees International Union, Local 668, AFL-CIO (Union) as the exclusive representative of all County, court-appointed professional and nonprofessional employes for the purpose of collective bargaining under the Pennsylvania Employe Relations Act (PERA).*fn1

Seeking to represent all court-appointed,*fn2 County professional and nonprofessional employes, the Union filed a representation petition with the PLRB on October 10, 1978. After a number of hearings which clarified the appropriate bargaining unit, and as a result of the representation election held on March 7, 1980, the PLRB issued a Nisi Order of Certification certifying the Union as the exclusive representative of the County's court-appointed employes.

The County filed a petition for review to the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County of the PLRB's final order after the PLRB dismissed the majority of the County's exceptions*fn3 to the certification procedure thus making the Nisi Order of Certification absolute and final. Upon the Supreme Court's granting of the intervening Union's Application for Extraordinary Relief pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 726, the matter was

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 644]

    transferred from the common pleas court to this Court on June 16, 1981.

Raising a number of challenges, the County contends that (1) the bargaining unit comprised exclusively of court-appointed employes (individuals hired, fired and supervised by the court) is inappropriate since such unit excludes court-related employes (individuals not hired, fired and supervised by the court) notwithstanding the ostensible community of interest among all court employes; (2) the County's executive branch, and not the County Commissioners, should represent all managerial interests for purposes of collective bargaining; (3) judicial secretaries should be excluded from the bargaining unit because of their confidential status; (4) the PLRB's removal of part-time tipstaves from the bargaining unit after ...


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