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CAMP HILL BOROUGH v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/22/86)

decided: April 22, 1986.

CAMP HILL BOROUGH, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in the case of Camp Hill Borough Police Association v. Camp Hill Borough, Case No. PF-C-84-2-E.

COUNSEL

Alex E. Echard, for petitioner.

Patricia J. Goldband, with her, James L. Crawford, for respondent.

Anthony C. Busillo, II, with him, P. Richard Wagner, Mancke, Lightman and Wagner, for intervenor, Camp Hill Borough Police Association.

Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish. Judge Doyle concurs in the result only.

Author: Kalish

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 458]

Camp Hill Borough (Borough) petitions for review of a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) order affirming a hearing examiner's decision which held that the Borough had committed unfair labor practices. We affirm with a modification of the Board's order.

A charge of unfair labor practices was filed against Camp Hill Borough with the Board by the Camp Hill Borough Police Association. The Borough was charged with interfering with or coercing police employees in the exercise of collective bargaining rights under the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act*fn1 (Act), Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 211.1-211.36, resulting in the furlough of two officers, William Olsen and Samuel Miller, and the retirement of another, William Donovan.

[ 96 Pa. Commw. Page 459]

The hearing examiner made extensive findings of fact; found the Borough guilty of unfair labor practices; ordered the Borough to cease and desist from illegal conduct; and ordered the Borough to offer reinstatement with back pay to the three officers. The Board affirmed.

The Borough contends that the findings of fact are not supported by the evidence. Specifically, the Borough argues that the officers were terminated because of budget restraints and not for union activities.

Our scope of review is limited to determining whether the findings of the Board, namely, that the Borough interfered with or coerced employees in the exercise of their collective bargaining rights, are supported by substantial and legally credible evidence. Section 9(a) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 211.9(a); Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Elk Motor Sales Co., 388 Pa. 173, 130 A.2d 501 (1957). If so, the findings are conclusive. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Kaufmann Department Stores, Inc., 345 Pa. 398, 29 A.2d 90 (1942). Substantial evidence means such evidence which to a reasonable mind is adequate to support a conclusion. Kaufmann. The Board has the burden of proving the unfair labor practices. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board v. Sansom House Enterprises, Inc., 378 Pa. 385, 106 A.2d 404 (1954).

A careful examination of the record does reveal substantial evidence from which it could reasonably be inferred that the Borough engaged in discriminating and harassing conduct. It is undisputed that the employees were engaged in forming an association for the purposes of collective bargaining and that the Borough had knowledge of this activity. The Board inferred from the totality of the Borough's conduct that its actions were ...


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