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YOUNGWOOD BOROUGH POLICE DEPARTMENT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/16/88)

decided: March 16, 1988.

YOUNGWOOD BOROUGH POLICE DEPARTMENT, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT. YOUNGWOOD BOROUGH POLICE DEPARTMENT V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD. THE BOROUGH OF YOUNGWOOD, PETITIONER



Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, in the case of Youngwood Borough Police Department v. Youngwood Borough, No. PF-C-85-15-A.

COUNSEL

Anthony C. Busillo, II, for petitioner, Youngwood Borough Police Department.

Arlene F. Klinedinst, with her, James L. Crawford, for respondent, Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Thomas H. M. Hough, Hough & Gleason, P.C., with him, Gerald J. Yanity, for petitioner, Youngwood Borough.

Judges MacPhail, Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 114 Pa. Commw. Page 447]

In this case, the Borough of Youngwood (Borough) and the Youngwood Borough Police Department (Police) have filed cross-appeals from a final order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) which denied motions of both parties to reopen the case, dismissed exceptions filed by Police and adopted the proposed order of the hearing examiner holding that the Borough (1) had not discriminatorily furloughed its police officers, (2) had not committed unfair labor practices in refusing to bargain over the furlough decision or by notifying the Pennsylvania State Police of the furlough action and, (3) had committed an unfair practice by refusing to bargain over the use of a constable to do police work. We affirm the order of the Board.

This case has an extended record with two proposed decisions from the hearing examiner and two adjudications by the Board. The essential underlying facts are as follows.

On December 31, 1984, the Borough took action to furlough its entire police department. Witnesses for the Borough testified that this drastic action was necessary because a financial crisis had arisen by reason of the failure of the Borough's bookkeeper to pay the Borough's bills on a current basis. By obtaining court authorization to borrow a substantial sum of money, the Borough was able to continue its operations but had to make choices as to what services would be kept and what would be dropped. The Borough had a bargaining agreement with Police during 1984 and arrived at a new agreement with the Police for a new contract for the year 1985.

[ 114 Pa. Commw. Page 448]

When Borough's efforts to negotiate some concessions from Police to avoid lay-offs failed, the Borough decided to furlough its police officers. Once that decision was reached, Borough gave notice to the Pennsylvania State Police of their action and requested police protection.*fn1

On January 25, 1985, a constable was utilized by the Borough to transport a prisoner to a preliminary hearing before a district justice. That service was previously performed by Police under a set fee arrangement the Borough had with Police.

On February 5, 1985, the Police filed a charge of unfair labor practices with the Board contending that the Borough had violated Section 6(1)(a), (c) and (e) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (Act), Act of June 1, 1937, P.L. 1168, as amended , 43 P.S. ยง 211.6.*fn2

In a proposed decision and order filed November 26, 1985, the hearing examiner concluded that the Borough's action in ...


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