Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, in case of County of Lehigh v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, District Council 88, Local 543, AFL-CIO, No. 82-C-2771.
Patrick J. Reilly, Assistant County Solicitor, with him, Wilbur C. Creveling, Assistant County Solicitor, for appellant/appellee, County of Lehigh.
Alaine S. Williams, with her, Samuel Issacharoff, Kirschner, Walters, Willig, Weinberg & Dempsey, for appellee/appellant, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judges Rogers, Craig, MacPhail Doyle, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 487]
The County of Lehigh, a home rule charter county, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, District 88, Local 543, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), as cross-appellants, appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County affirming
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 488]
in part and reversing in part an arbitration award rendered under section 805 of the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA).*fn1 We affirm.
AFSCME is the certified bargaining representative for the Lehigh County prison guards. AFSCME and the county commenced negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement to be effective January 1, 1982, but reached an impasse after numerous negotiating sessions.*fn2 Pursuant to section 805 of the PERA, they referred the dispute to an arbitration panel. On June 28, 1982, the panel of arbitrators, by a two-to-one vote, issued an award directing the county to pay all bargaining unit employees an eight percent wage increase in each of the following years: 1982, 1983 and 1984.*fn3
The county appealed from the arbitrators' award to the court of common pleas which affirmed the eight percent wage increase for the year 1982 and denied the eight percent wage increase for the years 1983 and 1984.*fn4 These appeals followed.*fn5
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 489]
The issue before us is whether the wage increase provision of the arbitration award in favor of AFSCME requires a "legislative enactment" for its implementation, so that the award would have to be considered only advisory.*fn6
Section 805 of the PERA provides:
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act where representatives of units of guards at prisons or mental hospitals or units of employes directly involved with and necessary to the functioning of the courts of this Commonwealth have reached an impasse in collective bargaining and mediation as required in section 801 of this article has not resolved the dispute, the impasse shall be submitted to a panel of arbitrators whose decision shall be final and binding upon both parties with the proviso that the decision of the arbitrators which would require legislative enactment to be effective shall be considered advisory only.*fn7 (Emphasis added.)
Section 805 of the PERA mandates binding arbitration where the public employer and representatives of prison guards reach an impasse. The reason for this mandate is because prison guards are prohibited from striking.*fn8 The mandatory binding arbitration of disputes over employment issues is considered the quid pro quo for the denial of the right to strike to
[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 490]
prison guards. Franklin County Prison Board v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 491 Pa. 50, 417 A.2d 1138 (1980) and County of Allegheny v. Allegheny Court Association of Professional ...