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FIRE FIGHTERS v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CITY PITTSBURGH (08/11/88)

decided: August 11, 1988.

FIRE FIGHTERS, LOCAL UNION, NO. 1, APPELLANT
v.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in the case of Fire Fighters, Local Union, No. 1 v. Civil Service Commission of City of Pittsburgh, No. S.A. 1985 of 1985.

COUNSEL

Stanford A. Segal, with him, Michael J. Colarusso, Gatz, Cohen, Segal & Koerner, for appellant.

Joseph F. Quinn, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.

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

Author: Craig

[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 499]

May Pittsburgh, as a home-rule city, lawfully avoid applying a civil service statute's competitive selection provisions to two new "assistant" positions in charge of fire suppression and prevention directly under the fire bureau's chief, when that statute has provided that:

All positions in bureaus of fire, except as here and after [sic] provided, . . . in cities of second class, shall be in the competitive class of the civil service of such cities. This act shall not apply to or include chief officers of bureaus of fire under the director of the department, by whatever title his position may be designated, nor to chief clerks in bureaus of fire in such cities.

Act of June 27, 1939, P.L. 1207, § 1 (Firefighters Civil Service Act), as amended by Act of July 3, 1963, P.L.

[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 500186]

, § 1; 53 P.S. § 23491. The 1963 amendment deleted a former exemption of the fire chief's "ranking deputy, by whatever title his position may be designated."

Because there is no claim that these two new positions come within the remaining exemptions granted solely for fire chief and chief clerk, they must come within the competitive civil service class unless Pittsburgh's home-rule status allows the city to ignore the statute in this respect.

Although Pittsburgh adopted a home rule charter in 1974 under the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law, section 302(b)(v) of that law places a continuing limitation on the city's personnel management, as follows:

(b) No municipality shall . . . (v) enact any provision inconsistent with any statute heretofore enacted by the General Assembly affecting the rights, benefits, or working conditions of any employee of a political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

Act of April 13, 1972, P.L. 184, § 302(b)(v), as amended, 53 P.S. § 1-302(b)(v).

Because the 1963 civil service law obviously is, in relation to the 1972 home-rule law, a "heretofore enacted" statute "affecting the rights, benefits, or working conditions" of the fire ...


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