Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Edward J. Bradley (President Judge acting individually and on behalf of all the Judges of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County) v. Local 810, District Council 47, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employes, AFL-CIO, No. 2083 August Term, 1981.
Jonathan Walters, with him, Alaine S. Williams, Kirschner, Walters, Willig, Weinberg & Dempsey, for appellant.
Warren M. Laddon, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Craig.
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The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as the union representing certain court-appointed employees of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County, has appealed from the action of a judge (assigned specially to that common
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pleas court) whose order invalidated certain provisions of an interest arbitration award, to the extent that those award provisions were challenged by the common pleas court as employer.
Following an impasse in the 1981 negotiations by the union with the City of Philadelphia and the common pleas court, the parties had pursued the interest arbitration proceedings under section 805 of the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA), Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, as amended, 43 P.S. § 1101.805.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 83 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 591, 477 A.2d 930 (1984) has recently summarized the governing legal doctrines which give rise to this recurring issue in cases involving court employees. Although court employees are entitled to collective bargaining rights under PERA, with the officials of the local revenue-raising body (in Philadelphia, the city) functioning as managerial representatives for the courts, that collective bargaining process cannot encroach upon judicial authority to select, discharge and supervise court personnel. Ellenbogen v. County of Allegheny, 479 Pa. 429, 438, 388 A.2d 730, 735 (1978); Commonwealth ex rel. Bradley v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 479 Pa. 440, 388 A.2d 736 (1978); 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).
Although the various arbitration award provisions challenged by the common pleas court upon appeal from the arbitrators included the creation of a labor-management committee, promotion and eligibility provisions, vacation and administrative leave matters and the creation of a task force relating to pay plans -- all of which were invalidated by the trial judge as
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contravening the exclusive supervisory powers of the judicial employer -- the union here seeks to preserve upon appeal only the last-mentioned award ...