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THERESA R. NEVLING v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/16/87)

decided: June 16, 1987.

THERESA R. NEVLING, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT. DOROTHY M. BRENNAN, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the State Civil Service Commission, in case of Theresa R. Nevling v. Southeast Pennsylvania Institutional Area Service Unit, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 5538, and in case of Dorothy M. Brennan v. Southeast Pennsylvania Institutional Area Service Unit, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 5528.

COUNSEL

Samuel L. Spear, Spear, Wilderman, Sigmond, Borish, Endy & Silverstein, for petitioners.

Catherine Stewart, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 627]

These appeals result from orders of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission), which concluded that Department of Public Welfare (DPW) employees Theresa R. Nevling and Dorothy M. Brennan (petitioners) had been properly furloughed from their jobs. The Commission decisions also concluded specifically that neither petitioner had been the victim of discrimination in the course of the furloughs.

Petitioners were and are presently*fn1 employed by the Southeast Pennsylvania Institutional Area Service Unit, DPW (SPIASU), an agency which prepares food at a central location for delivery and distribution to area DPW facilities requiring food service. Petitioner Brennan, before her furlough, was a principal supervisor at SPIASU, holding the rank of Food Service Manager II (FSM II). Petitioner Nevling, meanwhile, held the rank of Cook II, a kitchen job which included "lead worker" duties of a supervisory nature.

On November 1, 1984 services to one of the facilities which SPIASU served, Woodhaven Center, a mental

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 628]

    retardation program, were cancelled pursuant to a prior intra-agency agreement. As a result, the number of "meals per meal"*fn2 served by SPIASU decreased from approximately 850 to 550. This cancellation, as stated above, was predicted, and DPW thus planned a personnel reduction for SPIASU to correct for the loss of Woodhaven. The particulars of that reduction were described by the Commission in the following findings of fact:

7. The appointing authority [DPW] found that the decrease in the overall number of meals served amounted to a reduction in the total amount of work performed by the Dietary Unit of approximately fifty percent, due to the complicated nature of meals which had been served at Woodhaven.

8. In order to determine the complement necessary to operate the Dietary Unit under the new requirements, the appointing authority's Institutional Dietary Consultant (Terefencko) performed two independent staffing studies based on the appointing authority's workload after the loss of Woodhaven Center.

9. Based on the result of the staffing studies, Terefencko recommended [52] positions as the necessary complement for the Dietary Unit, and also recommended a corresponding reduction in the staffing level structure to conform with the new total.

Commission's Decisions at 2.

Having concluded that this reduction was appropriate, DPW established an appropriate classification scheme and then implemented a furlough procedure.

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 629]

Petitioner Brennan was "furloughed from her position [as FSM II] and subsequently offered a bump into a Food Service Manager I [FSM I] position." Petitioner Nevling was "furloughed from her position [as Cook II] and subsequently offered a bump into a Cook I position." Petitioners accepted ...


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