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AMERICAN FEDERATION STATE v. PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD (07/11/84)

decided: July 11, 1984.

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, DISTRICT COUNCIL 84 ETC., PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in case of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. County of Allegheny, Case No. PERA-C-80-753-W.

COUNSEL

Alaine S. Williams, Kirschner, Walters, Willig, Weinberg & Dempsey, for petitioner.

James L. Crawford, with him, Ellis H. Katz, for respondent.

James H. McLean, County Solicitor, with him, Thomas H. M. Hough, Assistant County Solicitor, for intervenor, County of Allegheny.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Crumlish

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 592]

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Allegheny County cross-appeal a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) order. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 593]

AFSCME filed an unfair practice charge with the PLRB, alleging the County had refused to bargain in good faith for court-appointed and court-related employees*fn1 and thus violated Section 1201(a)(1) and (5) of the Public Employe Relations Act (Act), Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.1201(a)(1) and (5).*fn2 The PLRB dismissed AFSCME's charges.*fn3 This Court*fn4 vacated the PLRB's order and remanded the case*fn5 to the PLRB for further proceedings, including an evidentiary hearing. The PLRB hearing examiner determined that the County had violated Sections 1201(a)(1) and (5) of the Act by refusing to bargain over provisions in AFSCME's proposals concerning sick leave, funeral leave, jury duty, and shift differential but had not violated the

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 594]

Act by refusing to bargain over scheduling, seniority, holidays, vacations, discipline, and meal and break periods. We dismiss all unfair practice charges against the County and hold that all the above proposals are within the Court's exclusive authority to bargain.

The courts of this Commonwealth under our Constitution have certain inherent rights and powers to do all such things as are reasonably necessary for the administration of justice. Sweet v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 457 Pa. 456, 462, 322 A.2d 362, 365 (1974). Consistent with the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, the courts' powers may not be policed, encroached upon, or diminished by another branch of government. Eshelman v. Commissioners of the County of Berks, 62 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 310, 314, 436 A.2d 710, 712 (1981), aff'd, 502 Pa. 430, 466 A.2d 1029 (1983).

Under the Act, the County Commissioners are the exclusive managerial representatives for the courts in collective bargaining involving court personnel paid from county funds. Ellenbogen v. County of Allegheny, 479 Pa. 429, 438, 388 A.2d 730, 735 (1978). While the Act provides for collective bargaining in the resolution of matters involving wages and other financial terms of employment, the collective bargaining process must not infringe upon the judges' authority to select, discharge and supervise Court personnel. Commonwealth ex rel. Bradley v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 479 Pa. 440, 388 A.2d 736 (1978). If bargaining results pose a genuine threat to the judicial function, nothing in the Act nor in case law precludes ...


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