Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Lower Merion Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Number Twenty-Eight v. Township of Lower Merion, No. 82-18960.
J. Scott O'Keefe, with him, James S. Bruno, O'Keefe & Bruno, P.C., and Gary M. Lightman, Mancke, Lightman & Wagner, for appellant.
Gilbert P. High, Jr., High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail, Colins and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 170]
The Lower Merion Fraternal Order of Police (appellant) appeals a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County dismissing its Petition for Review to set aside an arbitration award rendered under the provisions of Section 4 of the Act of June 24, 1968, P.L. 237 (Act 111), as amended, 43 P.S. § 217.4.
[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 171]
On June 29, 1982, appellant and Township of Lower Merion (appellee) commenced employment contract negotiations. An impasse developed and appellant requested the appointment of a board of arbitration (board) as authorized by Section 4(a) of Act 111, 43 P.S. § 217.4(a) which provides in relevant part:
If in any case of a dispute between a public employer and its policemen . . . the collective bargaining process reaches an impasse and stalemate, . . . with the result that said employers and employes are unable to effect a settlement, then either party to the dispute, after written notice to the other party containing specifications of the issue or issues in dispute, may request the appointment of a board of arbitration.
On November 23, 1982 the board issued a unanimous award. Several provisions of this award are now in dispute before this Court. The pertinent provisions of the award read as follows:
(1) Term of award -- January 1, 1983 through December 31, 1985.
(6) Pension -- effective January 1, 1984 the retirement age shall be changed to 55 . . . and any post-retirement medical benefits shall be eliminated.
Under Section 7 of Act 111, 43 P.S. § 217.7, the determination of an arbitration panel as to disputed issues is final and unappealable and our scope of review of such an award is limited to reviewing questions of (1) jurisdiction; (2) the regularity of the proceedings; (3) actions beyond legislative authorization, and (4) ...