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CITY COATESVILLE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/22/83)

decided: September 22, 1983.

CITY OF COATESVILLE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT. COATESVILLE POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, INTERVENOR



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. City of Coatesville, Case No. PF-C-80-81-E.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Ossip, with him, Timothy P. O'Reilly, Michael A. Hacker, and Alexander Endy, City Solicitor, for petitioner.

James L. Crawford, with him, Frayda Kamber and Anthony C. Busillo, II, for respondent.

Jonathan Walters, Kirschner, Walters & Willig, for intervenor.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Williams, Jr., and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Barbieri concurs in the results only.

Author: Crumlish

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 266]

The City of Coatesville (City) appeals a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) determination that it committed unfair labor practices. We affirm.

The Coatesville Police Benevolent Association (Association), the certified representative of the City's police officers under the Collective Bargaining by Policemen or Firemen Act (Act III),*fn1 filed a complaint with the Board when the City refused to bargain over its unilateral increase in the amount of the officers' contribution to their pension fund. The Board concluded that the City's refusal to bargain was an unfair labor practice, in violation of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA),*fn2 and directed it to bargain.

The sole issue is whether the Board has jurisdiction to decide unfair labor practice charges involving Act 111 employees. We hold that the Board has jurisdiction.

In Philadelphia Fire Officers Association v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 470 Pa. 550, 369 A.2d 259 (1977), our Supreme Court, by reading the PLRA and Act 111 in pari materia, held that the Board had jurisdiction under the PLRA to conduct representation elections for Act 111 employees. The Court realized, however, that only portions of the PLRA could be read into Act 111:

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 267]

We recognize, of course, . . . that Act No. 111 provides its own unique and specific procedure, namely, binding arbitration, as the final resort in the event of a bargaining impasse. These provisions of Act No. 111, enacted later than the PLRA, are of course controlling where the situation warrants. (Citations omitted; emphasis added.)

Id. at 558, 369 A.2d at 262. Thus, where the PLRA's provisions conflict with Act 111, they will not be read ...


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