decided: June 7, 1984.
JOHN P. MCCLUSKEY ET AL., PETITIONERS
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. PAUL M. BARONAK ET AL., PETITIONERS V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT
Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission in cases of John P. McCluskey v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1957; Rudolph P. Hillebrand, Jr. v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1949; Lynn F. Cunningham v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1941; James A. Bergey v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1939; Ray A. Mitchell v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1960; Dennis L. Diviney v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1945; Colin M. Sedlak v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1965 and Dennis L. Nelson v. PennDOT, Appeal No. 1961.
Laurance B. Seaman, for petitioners.
Michael J. McCaney, Jr., with him, Frank A. Fisher, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for Respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 130]
This is a consolidated appeal of eight furloughed Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT)
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 131]
employees (petitioners) from Civil Service Commission (Commission) orders and opinions, sustaining their furloughs as proper under the Civil Service Act (Act).*fn1
Because of a lack of work, the petitioners, who were full-time employees assigned to District 2-0, Clearfield, were furloughed effective March 31, 1976, from their permanent positions as Draftsmen Designers and Draftsmen II.
The petitioners appealed their furloughs to the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission which denied their appeals and refused to grant them a hearing. This Court ordered the Commission to hear these appeals and to enforce the Civil Service Act's requirements. Following a remand, a hearing was held before the Commission.*fn2 The Commission, by separate orders dismissed the appeals sustaining the action of the Department of Transportation (respondent). It is from these orders that the petitioners bring this appeal.
Under Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law,*fn3 this Court is required to affirm an adjudication of the Civil Service Commission unless constitutional rights have been violated, an error of law has been committed, or a necessary finding of fact is not supported by substantial evidence.
The petitioners argue that the Commission's conclusion that they were properly furloughed*fn4 pursuant
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 132]
to a lack of work is unsupported by substantial evidence. We disagree.
The Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration, David C. Sims, testified that he was instructed by the then Secretary of Transportation to determine if overstaffing existed in the various personnel areas of DOT. Mr. Sims then instructed the Bureau of Design to contact the various District Engineers to gather information with respect to overstaffing and more specifically to obtain a list of all their design people in each of their areas, a list of the projects they were presently working on and the design costs to complete the projects. Mr. Bruce E. Speegle, the District Engineer for District 2-0, gathered this information through the employees in the bureau, and subsequently submitted it to the Bureau of Design. The Bureau of Design collected this information and reviewed it, determining which projects were to be continued and which ones were not and determined the total design costs remaining in those projects in each of the units evaluated. Mr. Sims then evaluated this information and after reviewing the material with the District Engineers, including Mr. Speegle, made determinations as to the number and position of personnel needed for the current active projects. Mr. Sims then submitted a list of the positions he considered to be overstaffed to the Bureau of Personnel for furlough.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 133]
The decision by DOT to furlough the petitioners was a managerial prerogative of DOT, which cannot be usurped by the Commission or by this Court. "[N]either this Court nor the Commission may substitute its judgment for that of department officials in matters relevant to departmental economy and efficiency." Johnson v. Department of Transportation, 77 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 486, 490, 466 A.2d 731, 734 (1983). Accord, Department of Public Welfare v. Page 133} Magrath, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 257, 321 A.2d 403 (1974).*fn5
We find that there was substantial evidence to support the Commission's findings that a lack of work motivated the petitioners' furlough.
Accordingly, we affirm the orders of the Civil Service Commission.
And Now, June 7, 1984, the orders of the Civil Service Commission, at Appeal No. 1957 dated November
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 13421]
, 1977; Appeal No. 1949 dated November 22, 1977; and Appeal No. 1941 dated November 21, 1977, are hereby affirmed.
And Now, June 7, 1984, the orders of the Civil Service Commission, at Appeal No. 1938 dated January 6, 1978; Appeal No. 1960 dated January 9, 1978; Appeal No. 1945 dated January 9, 1978; Appeal No. 1965 dated January 10, 1978 and Appeal No. 1961 dated January 9, 1978, are hereby affirmed.