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City of Allentown v. International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

August 7, 2015

City of Allentown
v.
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302; International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302
v.
City of Allentown, Appellant

Argued May 6, 2015.

Page 493

Appealed from No. 2013-C-4397 and 2013-C-4438. Common Pleas Court of the County of Lehigh. Reichley, J.

John P. McLaughlin and Bradley J. Betack, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Quintes D. Taglioli, Allentown, for appellee.

BEFORE: HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, President Judge, HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge, HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge. Judge Simpson concurs in the result only. OPINION BY PRESIDENT JUDGE PELLEGRINI. DISSENTING OPINION BY JUDGE BROBSON. DISSENTING OPINION BY JUDGE McCULLOUGH.

OPINION

Page 494

DAN PELLEGRINI, PRESIDENT JUDGE.

The City of Allentown (City) petitions for review of an order of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas (trial court) reviewing an interest arbitration award issued by an arbitration panel under the Policeman and Fireman Collective Bargaining Act (Act 111).[1] We affirm in part and reverse in part.

I.

The City and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302 (Union) were parties to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) governing the wages, hours and working conditions of the employees of the City's Fire Department (Department) who provide firefighting and emergency medical services that was set to expire in December 2011. Pertinent to our discussion regarding manning, the CBA provided that the City Fire Department shall have 140 sworn personnel with an on-duty shift strength of no less than 28 firefighters. Regarding pensions, the CBA provided:

o that any firefighter was eligible to retire regardless of age;
o that any firefighter retiring after January 1, 2005, received an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA), but the pension benefit should not exceed one-half of the current salary being paid to firefighters of same rank that the pensioner had prior to retirement as provided for under Section 4322 of the Third Class

Page 495

City Code; [2] ...

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