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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. AMERICAN FEDERATION STATE (09/30/86)

decided: September 30, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION AT MUNCY, PETITIONER
v.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 13, AFL-CIO, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Arbitrator in the case of In the Matter of Arbitration between Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Council 13, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Nos. 84-561 & 562, 86-J-2499-2339-H1, Class Action and J. Vetter, dated January 13, 1986.

COUNSEL

Cheryl Young, Assistant Counsel, for petitioner.

Nancy B. G. Lassen, Kirschner, Walters & Willig, for respondent.

Judges Craig, Colins and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 122]

Where a labor arbitrator's award requires a state correctional institution to make all prison guard shift assignments without regard to the gender of the prison guards and hence regardless of the personal privacy of

[ 101 Pa. Commw. Page 123]

    inmates in the presence of guards of the opposite sex, is the arbitrator's award invalid as not rationally derived from the essence of the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement relating to the prison's operation?

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has appealed from the award of a labor arbitrator upholding two grievances of corrections officers (guards) at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, which houses approximately 400 female prisoners and 140 male prisoners and is the only state facility for female prisoners.

The grievances protested the failure of the employer to allow bids for shift preferences in accordance with Article 30, Section 10 of the agreement which states:

In making shift assignments to shift openings, preference shall be granted on a seniority basis unless the Employer feels it is necessary to assign otherwise in order to protect the efficiency of operation. Seniority status in this regard shall be Classification seniority attained at the work site.

The agreement further provides under Article 33, Discrimination:

Both the Employer and the Union agree not to discriminate against any employee on the basis of race, creed, color, ancestry, sex, marital status, age, national origin, non-job related handicap or disability, union membership or political affiliation.

The arbitrator's findings of fact, which are not substantially in dispute in any respect, establish that the department's shift vacancy announcements at issue, posted in January and February of 1984, were labeled "C.O.I. VACANCY -- FEMALE" and addressed to "All Female C.O.I.'s." After the ...


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