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COUNTY ALLEGHENY v. ALLEGHENY COURT ASSOCIATION PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES (08/08/86)

decided: August 8, 1986.

COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY, APPELLANT
v.
ALLEGHENY COURT ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of County of Allegheny v. Allegheny Court Association of Professional Employees, No. SA 642 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Thomas H. M. Hough, Assistant County Solicitor, with him, James J. Dodaro, County Solicitor, for appellant.

Daniel R. Delaney, Delaney and Evans, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Barry and Colins. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 531]

The County of Allegheny (County) appeals here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying the County's motion for post trial relief and affirming an arbitration award rendered under Section 805 of the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA), Act of July 23, 1970, P.L. 563, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 1101.805. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

A brief summary of the events leading up to this appeal is necessary. The Allegheny Court Association of Professional Employees (ACAPE) represents all court-appointed employees of Allegheny County. ACAPE and

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 532]

    the County commenced contract negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement but reached an impasse. Pursuant to Section 805 of the PERA, they referred the dispute to an arbitration panel. On May 5, 1980, the arbitration panel directed the County to pay all bargaining unit employees a salary increase and a one-time bonus of twelve hundred dollars ($1200.00).*fn1

The County appealed from the arbitrator's award to the court of common pleas which, in a scholarly opinion authored by Judge Stranahan, upheld most of the nonfiscal provisions of the award but voided certain sections as encroaching upon the court's exclusive right to hire, discharge and supervise court personnel.*fn2 The judge reserved the issue of whether the fiscal provisions of the award dealing with salary increases required legislative enactment by the County Commissioners, thus rendering them advisory only under Section 805 of the PERA. County of Allegheny v. Allegheny Court Association of Professional Employees, 22 Pa. D. & C. 3d 166 (1981), aff'd 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 277, 446 A.2d 1370 (1982).*fn3 [(County of Allegheny)].

The judge ordered a hearing to resolve this issue, which was held on September 17, 1984. The issue was further narrowed to whether a transfer of funds from the general revenues of a county into an account designated for court employees' salaries requires a "legislative enactment."

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 533]

In a thorough and comprehensive opinion, dated December 19, 1984, Judge Stranahan held that the procedure used to transfer funds from one county account to another does not require a "legislative enactment." The court of common pleas denied the County's ...


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