The Courts and Row Officers Right to Hire Their Staffs

In Ellenbogen v. County of Allegheny, 479 Pa. 429, 388 A.2d 730 (1978), judges sought a declaration as to who was the managerial representative for bargaining with the employees they supervised. The Supreme Court held that the designation in Section 1620 of the County Code of the county commissioners as managerial representatives in bargaining avoided the problem of having too many decision-makers, none with full authority to reach early agreement. In Ellenbogen, the statutory right of courts and row officers to hire their staffs was very plainly acknowledged and protected. In Teamsters Local 115 v. Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, 152 Pa. Commw. 394, 619 A.2d 382, 389 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1992), this Court referred to those decisions and stated that judges, through collective bargaining, can voluntarily limit their absolute right to supervise employees through appropriate procedures, and there is no legal principle suggesting that the same cannot be said of their ability to hire and discharge employees but added: "If it is not voluntarily granted, of course, that would summarily end the matter." Although bumping rights may be mandatory subjects of bargaining in other contexts, they are not where Section 1620 applies.