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DERRY TOWNSHIP v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/21/89)

decided: November 21, 1989.

DERRY TOWNSHIP, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

COUNSEL

Bruce J. Kasten, with him, John S. Hayes and Victor M. Pascutoi, Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for petitioner.

John L. Crawford, for respondent.

Anthony C. Busillo, II, for intervenor, Derry Tp. Police Ass'n.

Colins and Smith, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Smith

[ 131 Pa. Commw. Page 575]

Derry Township (Township) seeks review of an order of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (Board) which concluded

[ 131 Pa. Commw. Page 576]

    that the Township committed an unfair labor practice in violation of Sections 6(1)(a) and (e) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA)*fn1 and ordering the Township to implement in its entirety provisions of an interest arbitration award entered March 28, 1988. The arbitration award was issued by a board of arbitrators appointed by the Township and its Police Association (Association) for the purposes of resolving their collective bargaining dispute pursuant to the Act of June 24, 1968, P.L. 237, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 217.1-217.10 (Act 111).

Issues raised by the Township are whether the Board erred in concluding that the Township committed an unfair labor practice because of its refusal to implement an arbitration award provision which the Township contends is unlawful; and in the alternative, if the arbitration award provision is found to be lawful, whether the Township's refusal to implement it is not an unfair labor practice because such provision was not final and binding.

Following an impasse reached in the collective bargaining negotiations for the 1988-89 collective bargaining agreement, the Township and the Association selected a board of arbitrators pursuant to Act 111 to resolve their disputes. The award provisions relevant to this dispute are Sections 10 and 11. Section 10 provides that the social security offset currently in effect would be reduced from 50% to 0% and that the retirement age for employees, effective December 31, 1989, would be reduced to fifty years of age with twenty-five years of service. The parties were further directed in Section 11 of the award "to seek to draft and sign a consolidated labor agreement for 1988-89 incorporating the provisions of this award as well as existing awards where appropriate. . . . If the parties are unable to draft such an agreement within 60 days from the issuance of this award, the parties have agreed that the Arbitration Board will retain jurisdiction for the purpose of drafting such an agreement."

[ 131 Pa. Commw. Page 577]

The Township's arbitrator dissented from the changes in the retirement plan on the basis that the modifications could be made only if actuarial cost estimates were presented. The Association responded by notifying the Township that pursuant to Section 7(b) of Act 111, 43 P.S. § 217.7(b), the Township was required to implement ...


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