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FRATERNAL ORDER POLICE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/22/88)

decided: July 22, 1988.

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, FORT PITT LODGE NO. 1, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, in the case of Fraternal Order of Police, Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 v. City of Pittsburgh, Richard Caliguiri, Mayor, and Robert J. Coll, Jr., Superintendent, Case Nos. PF-C-85-54-W and PF-C-86-46-W, dated February 17, 1987.

COUNSEL

Anthony C. Busillo, II, for petitioner.

Arlene F. Klinedinst, Assistant Counsel, with her, James L. Crawford, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Joseph F. Quinn, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for intervenor, City of Pittsburgh.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 140]

The Fraternal Order of Police, Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 (FOP) petitions for review of an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) which dismissed unfair labor practice charges filed by the FOP against the City of Pittsburgh (City) on the dual bases that the FOP had not filed timely exceptions to the Hearing Examiner's decision, and that in any event, the FOP was not entitled to any relief on the merits. We affirm on the grounds that the FOP failed to file timely exceptions to the Hearing Examiner's decision.

The essential facts are that in November, 1984, the City began a reorganization of its police, fire and emergency service departments. As part of the police reorganization, the City began a "civilianization" program under which police officers performing clerical and administrative duties were reassigned to patrol duties and were replaced by civilian employees of the Pittsburgh Police Department. The transfer under this program began on May 13, 1985 and continued through the next two months.

On June 3, 1985, the FOP filed unfair labor practice charges against the City alleging that the transfers violated Sections 6(1)(a), 6(1)(c), and 6(1)(e) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA).*fn1 At the same time, the FOP filed an equity action in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County seeking to restrain the transfers

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 141]

    pending a decision by the Board. After a hearing on the equity matter in the common pleas court, the FOP and City agreed to submit the transfer issue to grievance arbitration. The Board then stayed further proceedings pending the arbitrator's decision. The grievance was denied in January, 1986.

In March, 1986, the City also undertook a reorganization of its river patrol, whereby one of the police officers assigned to each of the unit's boats was transferred and replaced by two paramedics. Again, the FOP filed unfair labor practice charges alleging these new transfers violated Sections 6(1)(a), 6(1)(c), and 6(1)(e) of the Act. These new charges were consolidated with the 1985 charges.

In a pre-hearing ruling on June 25, 1986, the Hearing Examiner deferred to the arbitrator's decision on the Section 6(1)(e) charges relating to the 1985 transfer of police officers from clerical duties. The Hearing Examiner subsequently conducted a hearing on all the remaining charges and issued a proposed decision and order on October 14, ...


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