Michael G. Lutz Lodge v. City of Phila.

In this appeal by allowance, we consider the breadth of the authority of an interest arbitration panel acting pursuant to the Policemen and Firemen Collective Bargaining Act. In 2009, the contract between appellee City of Philadelphia and appellant the Michael G. Lutz Lodge No. 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) expired, and the parties failed to negotiate a new one. The matter went to binding interest arbitration. An arbitration panel put a new collective bargaining agreement in place effective July 2009 to June 2013. One issue before the panel concerned advance notification and premium overtime for police officers for court appearances. The panel's authority came into question when it made decisions on the notification and overtime issues. The Supreme Court found that the interest arbitration panel's authority was limited to addressing issues properly submitted to the panel, or those questions reasonably subsumed within those issues. Here, the panel exceeded its authority by speaking to an issue that was neither bargained over, raised in prior related proceedings before the panel, nor reasonably subsumed within the issue that was properly before the panel. Accordingly, the Court reversed the order of the Commonwealth Court which affirmed the underlying interest arbitration award. View "Michael G. Lutz Lodge v. City of Phila." on Justia Law