Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, in the case of Independent State Store Union v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Liquor Control Board, Case No. PERA-C-85-311-E.
John D. Killian, Killian & Gephart, for petitioner.
Arlene F. Klinedinst, with her, James L. Crawford, for respondent.
Cheryl G. Young, Assistant Counsel, for intervenor, Office of Administration and Office of the Budget.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 287]
The Independent State Store Union (ISSU) petitions for review of an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) which found that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) had not violated Sections 1201(a)(1), 1201(a)(5), and 1201(a)(9) of the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA)*fn1 in refusing to process the grievance of Lawrence W. Sweeney, Jr. (Grievant) to the fifth step of the grievance procedure contained in a "Memorandum of Understanding" (Memorandum) between the PLCB and the ISSU. We affirm.
The ISSU is the public employee labor organization representing first-level supervisors employed by the PLCB. Following a series of "meet and discuss" sessions between the PLCB and the ISSU, the parties entered into the Memorandum, which covered the period from
[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 288]
August 1, 1983 to June 30, 1985. The Memorandum provided in relevant part that the PLCB would not discriminate on the basis of race (Recommendation Number 18), would not demote or dismiss an employee represented by the ISSU without just cause (Recommendation Number 15) and that the PLCB would follow a five-step grievance procedure for resolving any disputes over discipline (Recommendation No. 17). The fifth step of the grievance procedure allowed for the selection of an outside arbitrator to decide the grievance.
The Grievant here, a black male, was employed by the PLCB as a General Manager IIA at a PLCB store in York, Pennsylvania. On January 14, 1985, he sent a letter to the PLCB's affirmative action officer claiming he was being harassed by his supervisor who was white. On February 15, 1985, Grievant was notified by the PLCB that his supervisor had recommended he be demoted due to two incidents of rudeness to customers, abusive language to fellow employees, and his failure to transfer store merchandise to another PLCB store. The PLCB demoted him to Clerk I on February 21, 1985, effective March 9, 1985, and warned him that any future incompetence or misconduct would result in his dismissal. The letter notifying Grievant of his demotion also informed Grievant that he could challenge the demotion by either appealing to the Civil Service Commission or by utilizing the grievance procedure contained in the Memorandum. Also, on February 21, 1985, Grievant again wrote to the PLCB's affirmative action officer complaining of harassment by his supervisor.
Claimant then invoked the Memorandum's grievance procedure and proceeded through the first three steps which included at least one "meet and discuss" session between the representatives of the ISSU and the PLCB. The grievance was denied at ...