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Police & Firefighter Collective Bargaining Law

(Act No. 111)

An Act specifically authorizing collective bargaining between policemen and firemen and their public employers; providing for arbitration in order to settle disputes, and requiring compliance with collective bargaining agreements and findings of arbitrators.
 
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1.

Policemen or firemen employed by a political subdivision of the Commonwealth or by the Commonwealth shall, through labor organizations or other representatives designated by fifty percent or more of such policemen or firemen, have the right to bargain collectively with their public employers concerning the terms and conditions of their employment, including compensation, hours, working conditions, retirement, pensions and other benefits, and shall have the right to an adjustment or settlement of their grievances or disputes in accordance with the terms of this act.

Section 2.

It shall be the duty of public employers and their policemen and firemen employes to exert every reasonable effort to settle all disputes by engaging in collective bargaining in good faith and by entering into settlements by way of written agreements and maintaining the same.

Section 3.

Collective bargaining shall begin at least six months before the start of the fiscal year of the political subdivision or of the Commonwealth, as the case may be and any request for arbitration, as hereinafter provided, shall be made at least one hundred ten days before the start of said fiscal year.

Section 4.

(a) If in any case of a dispute between a public employer and its policemen or firemen employes the collective bargaining process reaches an impasse and stalemate, or if the appropriate lawmaking body does not approve the agreement reached by collective bargaining, with the result that said employers and employes are unable to effect a settlement, then either party to the dispute, after written notice to the other party containing specifications of the issue or issues in dispute, may request the appointment of a board of arbitration.
 
For purposes of this section, an impasse or stalemate shall be deemed to occur in the collective bargaining process if the parties do not reach a settlement of the issue or issues in dispute by way of a written agreement within thirty days after collective bargaining proceedings have been initiated.
 
In the case of disputes involving political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, the agreement shall be deemed not approved within the meaning of this section if it is not approved by the appropriate lawmaking body within one month after the agreement is reached by way of collective bargaining.
 
In the case of disputes involving the Commonwealth, the agreement shall be deemed not approved within the meaning of this section if it is not approved by the Legislature within six months after the agreement is reached by way of collective bargaining.
 
(b) The Board of arbitration shall be composed of three persons, one appointed by the public employer, one appointed by the body of policemen or firemen involved, and a third member to be agreed upon by the public employer and such policemen or firemen. The members of the board representing the public employer and the policemen or firemen shall be named within five days from the date of the request for the appointment of such board. If, after a period of ten days from the date of the appointment of the two arbitrators appointed by the public employer and by the policemen or firemen, the third arbitrator has not been selected by them, then either arbitrator may request the American Arbitration Association, or its successor in function, to furnish a list of three members of said association who are residents of Pennsylvania from which the third arbitrator shall be selected. The arbitrator appointed by the public employer shall eliminate one name from the list within five days after publication of the list, following which the arbitrator appointed by the policemen or firemen shall eliminate one name from the list within five days thereafter. The individual whose name remains on the list shall be the third arbitrator and shall act as chairman of the board of arbitration. The board of arbitration thus established shall commence the arbitration proceedings within ten days after the third arbitrator is selected and shall make its determination within thirty days after the appointment of the third arbitrator.

Section 5.

Notice by the policemen or firemen involved under Section 4 shall, in the case of disputes involving the Commonwealth, be served upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth and, in the case of disputes involving political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, shall be served upon the head of the governing body of the local governmental unit involved.

Section 6.

Each of the arbitrators selected in accordance with Section 4 hereof shall have the power to administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses and physical evidence by subpoena.

Section 7.

(a) The determination of the majority of the board of arbitration thus established shall be final on the issue or issues in dispute and shall be binding upon the public employer and policemen or firemen involved. Such determination shall be in writing and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to both parties to the dispute. No appeal therefrom shall be allowed to any court. Such determination shall constitute a mandate to the head of the political subdivision which is the employer, to the appropriate office of the Commonwealth if the Commonwealth is the employer, with respect to matters which can be remedied by administrative action, and to the lawmaking body of such political subdivision or of the Commonwealth with respect to matters which require legislative action, to take the action necessary to carry out the determination of the Board of arbitration.
 
(b) With respect to matters which require legislative action for implementation, such legislation shall be enacted, in the case of the Commonwealth, within six months following publication of the findings, and, in the case of a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, within one month following publication of the findings. The effective date of any such legislation shall be the first day of the fiscal year following the fiscal year during which the legislation is thus enacted.

Section 8.

The compensation, if any, of the arbitrator appointed by the policemen and firemen shall be paid by them. The compensation of the other two arbitrators, as well as all stenographic and other expenses incurred by the arbitration panel in connection with the arbitration proceedings, shall be paid by the political subdivision or by the Commonwealth, as the case may be.

Section 9.

The provisions of this act shall be applicable to every political subdivision of this Commonwealth notwithstanding the fact that any such political subdivision, either before or after the passage of this act, has adopted or adopts a home rule charter.

Section 10.

If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this act, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Section 11.

All acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

Section 12.

This act shall take effect immediately.
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