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Fraternal Order of Transit Police v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

April 28, 2015

The Fraternal Order of Transit Police, Appellant
v.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority

Argued February 9, 2015

Appealed from No. February Term, 2012, No. 00423. Common Pleas Court of the County of Philadelphia. Ceisler, J.

Douglas K. Jenkins, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert C. Nagle, Philadelphia, for appellee.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 894

BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTERM JUDGE

Appellant, Fraternal Order of Transit Police (Union), appeals from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, which denied the Union's petition to vacate an arbitration award addressing the paid sick leave of transit police officers covered under the relevant collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the Union and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).[1]

Page 895

In the underlying grievance, the Union sought relief on behalf of all transit officers covered by the CBA. Based upon the evidence presented, the arbitrator awarded relief to only three officers. After review, we affirm.

Relevant to the instant dispute, sick pay[2] is payable to an officer who is absent from work due to sickness or a non-work-related injury. See CBA Article XXIV, Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 42. In order to receive sick pay, an officer must notify his Department at least one-half hour before the start of the scheduled work day. Id. In general, non-probationary officers earn sick pay at the rate of one day per each month of service. Id. An officer may accrue up to 200 days of unused sick pay. Id.

In June 2005, the Union filed a grievance on behalf of all officers essentially challenging " the paid 'sick time' amounts being given at this time by the [administration]." R.R. at 203. The grievance, filed by the union president, Salvatore Perpetua, averred tat the then-chief of police, Chief Evans, had stated in a prior arbitration that 2004 established a " ground zero" regarding paid sick leave and implied that SEPTA had failed to accurately account for officers' sick day usage post-2004.[3] The grievance sought the following remedy:

For purposes of this grievance I [Union President Perpetua] will use my own personal sick time as an example. Date of hire: April 6, 1992 to the present (158 months of employment). 158 sick days earned minus any sick time used from January 1, 2004 to the present. Total sick time accrued minus any sick time used beginning in 2004 will establish the total sick time. This formula to be applied for all police officers. This is ...

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