The Brandywine Regional Police Association wants the state to review an unfair labor practices complaint involving two townships and a regional police commission.Attorney Anthony C. Busillo II filed the complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board on Dec. 5. The association alleges actions taken by Wallace and East Brandywine townships and the Brandywine Regional Police Commission "constitute interference with employee rights, as well as a refusal to bargain in good faith, in violation of Act 111 and the Pennsylvania Labors Relations Act."
Five violations are listed in the complaint:
The association objects to the "direct dealing with bargaining unit members and/or circumventing the duty to bargaining with the duly recognized representative."
The association believes there was discrimination and retaliation against its representatives "in the manner in which employees have been selected for hire/retention in violation of the existing bargaining agreement and controlling state law."
The association objects to how terms and conditions of employment were established without bargaining and "direct contravention of prior express promises and agreements to honor existing terms and conditions of employment."
The association believes the entities destroyed the entire bargaining relationship by making job promises to individual officers in a way that would "frustrate the ability to collectively bargain for the good of all members."
The association objects to promises of potential future employment and bonuses "as a means to create dissention in the bargaining unit and disrupt the association's ability to effectively carry out its bargaining obligation."
The association filed a grievance challenging the method by which East Brandywine enlisted officers for its newly formed police department.
On March 25, Wallace officials notified East Brandywine and Brandywine Regional Police Commission of their intent to withdraw from the regional policing agreement. More recently, Wallace supervisors decided to proceed with state police coverage beginning Jan. 1 while still considering their other options.
"When we decided not to challenge Wallace Township's request to withdraw from the regional agreement, we took the position immediately that there were 15 regional officers and that we'd be obligated to take 10 officers," East Brandywine Supervisor Jay Fischer said Friday.
According to Fischer, the police wanted seniority to be a basis of the hiring process at the new East Brandywine Police Department.
"Since it's a new department and new entity, it was our view that it (hiring police) didn't need to be based on seniority," Fischer said. "East Brandywine is creating a new entity; there is no carry-over from the regional police department."
East Brandywine made an offer of employment beginning Jan. 1 to 10 regional officers, Fischer said.
"We think it was morally right because we took the 10 officers," Fischer said. "It's the officers that are getting hurt the most by Wallace's decision not to start its own force."
Wallace Solicitor Stephen Siana commented on this issue on behalf of Wallace supervisors Friday. Although Siana said he did not have the "opportunity to fully review this matter with my client," he offered the following observations in a written statement:
"As the public has already been made aware, following extensive due diligence, Wallace Township has decided to avail itself of the police protection afforded by the Pennsylvania State Police in lieu of forming its own police department.."