Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County in case of Division 956, Amalgamated Transit Union v. Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, No. 84-C-613.
Edward H. Feege, with him, Larry J. Rappoport, Hayes and Feege, P.C., for appellant.
Joseph J. Pass Jr., Jubelirer, Pass & Intrieri, P.C., for appellee.
Judges Craig and Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 404]
The Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) has appealed from a mandamus order which the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County granted in favor of Division 956, Amalgamated Transit Union, directing that LANTA offer to submit the parties' bargaining impasse to arbitration, pursuant to section 1(d) of the Act of November 27, 1967, P.L. 628, 53 P.S. § 39951(d) (Transportation Act).
The Counties of Lehigh and Northampton formed LANTA under the Municipality Authorities Act of May 2, 1945, P.L. 382, §§ 1-19, as amended, 53 P.S. §§ 301-322.
Although LANTA provides transportation service throughout much of the area of the two counties which formed it including service to third class cities and their environs, no third class city joined with the two counties in the formation of LANTA as an authority.
After a collective bargaining agreement between LANTA and the union expired in January of 1984, following a brief extension, the parties found themselves unable to agree upon the terms of a new agreement. The union, after LANTA refused a union request to proceed to binding arbitration, filed the mandamus complaint which led to the judgment at issue.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 405]
Resolution of this dispute turns entirely upon judicial interpretation of the Transportation Act, the pertinent portions of which read as follows:
(a) If any city of the third class or any authority thereof or any joint authority formed to provide transportation service within the city and its surrounding environs, hereinafter referred to as joint authority, acquires an existing transportation system, such of the employes of such transportation system, except executive and administrative officers as are necessary for the operation thereof by the city of the third class, or any authority thereof or joint authority, shall be transferred to and appointed as employes of the city of the third class, authority thereof, or joint authority.
(d) The city of the third class, authority thereof or joint authority, through its boards shall deal with and enter into written contracts with the employes of the city of the third class, authority thereof or joint authority, through accredited representatives of such employes or representatives of any labor organization authorized to act for such employes ...