Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Transport Workers' Union of America, AFL-CIO, and Transport Workers' Union of Pennsylvania, Local 234, No. 2926 December Term, 1984.
James A. Matthews, III, with him, John Markle, Jr., Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for appellant.
Michael Brodie, with him, Joseph Michael Venditti, Sacks & Basch, for appellees.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Colins. Concurring Opinion by Judge Craig. President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judge Barry join this concurring opinion.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 438]
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which upheld the award of an arbitration board (Board) reinstating Earl Melvin (Melvin) as a trolley operator, a position from which he had been disqualified pursuant to medical standards promulgated by SEPTA. At issue is whether SEPTA's promulgation of medical standards for the disqualification of transit vehicle operators is an inherent prerogative of the public employer removed from the scope of collective bargaining in both substance and application.
Mr. Melvin began his employment with SEPTA as a trolley operator in February, 1973, and continued in that position until May, 1981, at which time he was hospitalized with chest pains. Diagnostic procedures revealed that Melvin suffered coronary artery disease and bypass surgery was performed. Upon his recuperation, Melvin attempted to return to his former position but was disqualified from doing so by SEPTA's Medical Examiner, pursuant to SEPTA's medical standards for employment*fn1 which pertinently provided as follows:
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 439]
The causes for rejection are not confined to those named below. Any disease, injury, abnormality, condition, or combination of conditions, which in the opinion of the Medical Examiner would tend to impair health or prevent proper performance of duties by the applicant, or risk the safety and welfare of equipment and passengers, may be a cause for rejection.
I) Angina Pectoris -- II) Myocardial Insufficiency -- III) Myocardial Infarction.
New Applicants : Presence of either one, rejects. History of either one, rejects.
Operators: Totally and permanently disqualified. Non-Operators : If driving any company vehicle, totally and permanently disqualified. If operating machinery and all other non-operators -- temporary disability until absolutely controlled or may totally and permanently disqualify.
Addendum: The performance of cardiac surgery for correction of any heart condition will not preclude the disqualification of any employee, if applicable, when the underlying condition has already disqualified. (Emphasis in original in part and added in part.)
Mr. Melvin was permitted to return to work as a cashier, but continued to request transfer to his former position as a trolley operator. Upon SEPTA's continued refusal to grant the transfer, the Transport Workers' ...