Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in the case of Capital City Lodge No. 12, Fraternal Order of Police v. The City of Harrisburg and The City of Harrisburg Police Department, No. 4262 Equity Term, 1982.
Nathan H. Waters, Jr., with him Edward J. Carreiro, Jr., for appellants.
Anthony C. Busillo, II, Mancke, Lightman & Wagner, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Barry and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.
[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 194]
The City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the City of Harrisburg Police Bureau (Appellants) appeal here an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County granting a preliminary injunction in favor of plaintiff in the action, Capital City Lodge No. 12, Fraternal Order of Police (Appellee). The preliminary injunction restrains Appellants from carrying out a change in days off procedure contrary to established work practice, the change having taken place unilaterally by direction of the Harrisburg Police Department without prior bargaining.
Appellants contend that it was error for the common pleas court to enter the preliminary injunction, since this action was in violation of the Labor Anti-Injunction Act;*fn1 and that, in any event, the necessary
[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 195]
prerequisites for granting a preliminary injunction had not been established. We disagree and will affirm.
Prior to November 24, 1982, Harrisburg police officers followed an established practice of scheduling their days off on the basis of seniority, with two consecutive days of the work week from Sunday through Saturday inclusive, being available for selection. Under this plan, the Friday-Saturday day off period was most popular and was generally selected by those having the seniority to do so. As of November 24, 1982, the Harrisburg Police Department instructed the Harrisburg policemen that, beginning January 1, 1983, scheduled days off would be chosen only on a Saturday-Sunday, Monday-Tuesday or Wednesday-Thursday basis, eliminating Friday as a possible day off selection, and designated Friday as a training day only. The policemen, represented by Capital City Lodge No. 12, Fraternal Order of Police, deeming that the right of selection existing prior to November 24, 1982 with regard to scheduling and selecting of days off to be a term and condition of employment, felt that a unilateral change of the pre-existing policy without prior bargaining was an unfair labor practice within the intendment of Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act, Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, as amended, 43 P.S. § 211.6. Accordingly, the policemen filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) followed by an action to preliminarily enjoin the City of Harrisburg Police Department from carrying out the order of November 24, 1982, until the PLRB would have passed upon the issue.
The common pleas court, dealing first with the contention that injunctive relief was barred by the Anti-Injunction Act ruled against the Appellants, pointing out that the Anti-Injunction Act exempts from its
[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 196]
scope any "labor dispute . . . which is in disregard, breach, or violation of . . . a valid subsisting labor agreement arrived at [by collective bargaining], as defined and provided for in the act [the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act, 43 ...