Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, in case of Borough of Dunmore v. Dunmore Police Association, No. 85 Civil -- 993, and in case of Dunmore Police Association by its Trustee ad Litem, Robert Parks v. Borough of Dunmore, et al., No. 85 Civil -- 1627.
Anthony C. Busillo, II, with him, Robert H. Sayers, Mancke, Lightman & Wagner, for appellant/appellee, Dunmore Police Association.
Robert Ufberg, Rosenberg & Ufberg, for appellee/appellant, Borough of Dunmore.
Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 307]
This case arises on cross-appeals by the Dunmore Police Association (Police) and the Borough of Dunmore (Borough) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (trial court) vacating an Act 111*fn1 Arbitration Award and dismissing an action in Mandamus filed by the Police. For the reasons which follow, we reverse and remand.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 308]
In March of 1984, an impasse in the negotiation of a new collective bargaining argreement occurred. The parties elected to submit the matter to a tripartite Act 111 interest arbitration panel, and that any award would include the years 1983, 1984 and 1985.*fn2 The arbitrators held three (3) hearings wherein counsel for the Police, Robert Sayers, Esquire, also acted as their sole witness. Under cover letter dated January 21, 1985, the panel issued its award.*fn3
The arbitration award settled numerous disputed issues including, among others, salary, insurance coverage, vacation time and paid holidays. However, as to scheduling matters, the arbitrators could not reach a decision. Therefore, paragraph 7 of the award states:
7. The subject of Sick Leave, Work Week and proposals for Call-in, Standby and Management scheduling provisions shall be subject to negotiations by a Committee consisting of 2 representatives of the Borough and 2 representatives of the Police Association meeting at least monthly beginning January 1, 1985, with a neutral committee selected through American Arbitration Association procedures. This Commitee [sic] shall produce a Report and Recommendations for resolution of these issues by July 1, 1985. If the parties do not agree to said resolutions, that Report and Recommendations will be submitted to a regular Act 111 Arbitration Board thereafter.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 309]
Without such a detailed consideration of the Parties' scheduling needs, this Board takes no position on the disputed work schedule issue but believes that it can best be deferred to later deliberations based upon such a report. It is understood, however, that, effective January 1, 1985, the pre-1980 work schedule will be put into effect pending the final determination of the issue in accordance with the foregoing procedure.
On February 25, 1985, the Borough appealed the arbitrators' award to the trial court, asserting that the proceedings were so fraught with irregularities that the entire award should be vacated. The Borough contended the attorney for the Police could not act both as counsel and witness and that the ...