Appeal from Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Horace A. Davenport, Judge.
Leigh P. Narducci, Spring House, Anthony C. Busillo, II, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Adrian L. Meyer, Doylestown, for appellee.
Doyle and Colins, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 249]
This is an appeal by the Police Officers of the Borough of Hatboro (Police Officers), from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which affirmed the award of an Arbitration Board (Board) in a dispute between the Borough of Hatboro (Borough) and the Police Officers. In addition, the Borough has filed in this Court a motion to dismiss.
In 1986, the Police Officers and the Borough entered into negotiations for determining wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of their employment including pension deductions for the calendar year 1987. An impasse developed and arbitration was scheduled. On July 12, 1987, the Board rendered an award covering a term of three years, viz. 1987, 1988 and 1989, to be effective January 1, 1987. The Police Officers appealed to the court of common pleas certain provisions of the award which deal exclusively with the Police Officers' pension fund. Those provisions are:
6(a) Article VII, Section 2 shall be amended so that if under the Act contributions in excess of five (5) percent deducted from the Police Officer's salary are required, the Borough shall contribute toward the Police Officer's
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 250]
retirement fund up to two (2) percent of the Police Officer's salary in and for the calendar years 1987, 1988, 1989. If additional funds are required under Act 600, above the total of seven (7) percent (Officer -- 5 percent and Borough -- 2 percent), they shall be deducted from the Police Officer's salary up to the maximum permissible under the Act. (Emphasis added.)
(b) The above item (a) is predicated upon the pension plan as of January 1, 1987 not utilizing any excess investment earnings to increase retirees pension benefits, and further the pension benefits for any officers retiring after the date of the Award shall hereafter be based on their annual base salary excluding therefrom all additional compensation.
(c) In the event that the pension plan is required to include additional compensation in excess of the annual base salary to compute retirement benefits in the future for any reason, then either party should have the right to re-open this Award for the sole purpose of renegotiating the wage provision of the Contract.
In their appeal before the trial court, the Police Officers raised two issues that are relevant to their appeal before this Court.*fn1 Specifically, they asserted that the Board erred in calculating the pension benefits on their base pay only, rather than on their base pay plus overtime and other compensation as was the past practice of the Borough. The Police Officers further claimed that the award wrongfully permits a wage reopening, if the pension plan would be required to ...