fbpx

Q & A

From Florida Question: I’ve often heard from my union’s legal defense plan that we cannot go to arbitration for a written reprimand because the grievant has no “property loss” and that the arbitrator can’t rescind the written reprimand. Often our members feel like this is an excuse by the legal defense plan because the LDP doesn’t want to spend the money on the arbitration. While a written reprimand doesn’t…

Read More

No Evidence That Arbitrator Was Partial In Chief’s Termination Case

Matthew Cummings was the Police Chief for Newton, Massachusetts. Cummings worked under an employment contract, which specified that any dispute concerning his “termination of employment…shall be resolved exclusively by arbitration under the Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.” The agreement also specified that “the arbitrator’s decision, if in accordance with law, shall be final and binding upon the parties.” When the City terminated Cummings for conduct…

Read More

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s ‘Reasonably Debatable’ Decision On Overtime For Shift Change

The collective bargaining agreement between Middletown Township, New Jersey and the Middletown Township Police Superior Officers Association contains a clause that “Management has the right to change shifts or the hours worked but must negotiate any impact of its changes in reference to changes, wages, overtime and other compensation with the union.” A different labor organization represents the rank-and-file members of the Township’s police department. In January 2012, the…

Read More

Curious Court Decision Overturning Arbitrator’s Opinion

An arbitrator’s past practice decision as to placement of newly-promoted police sergeants on the employer’s salary schedule has produced a most unusual court decision in Illinois. The case arose out of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, which has a law enforcement agency. The Fraternal Order of Police filed two grievances concerning the placement of newly-promoted patrol officers on the sergeants’ salary schedule. The Union argued that the placement…

Read More

Arbitrator, Not Court, Should Define ‘Grandparents’

Deputy Angela Molea submitted a request to her employer, the Summit County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, to use bereavement leave to attend the funeral of her husband’s grandfather. The collective bargaining agreement between the County and Molea’s labor organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, permitted the use of bereavement leave for “grandparents.” Although similar requests had been granted in the past, the Sheriff denied Molea’s request, citing the execution…

Read More

Arbitrator Overturns Chief’s Termination

Matthew Cummings was the Chief of Police for the City of Newton, Massachusetts. Allegations of misconduct came to the attention of the Mayor, who retained an outside contractor to undertake an investigation. When it received his report, the City filed five charges of conduct unbecoming a police chief. At a pre-disciplinary hearing, Cummings called three witnesses, offered no exhibits, and did not testify. The hearing officer found that Cummings…

Read More

Arbitrator Can Consider Unfunded Pension Obligation In Deciding Sick Leave Issue

Local 49 of the International Association of Fire Fighters represents firefighters working for the City of Bloomington, Illinois. Since 1992, the parties’ various collective bargaining agreements included a sick leave “buy-back” provision, pursuant to which the City would compensate retiring firefighters for unused sick leave time. The 2009 to 2012 contract allowed Union members to receive payment from the City for 100% of their unused sick leave, up to…

Read More

Arbitrator Should Decide Whether Discipline Grievance Is Arbitrable

The Village of Bartonville, Illinois and Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. The Village terminated Officer Salvador Lopez for violating Police Department procedures in July 2014 when he allegedly drew his firearm during a traffic stop and pointed it at the motorist involved, without proper grounds for doing so. The Committee filed a grievance challenging the termination, but the Village refused to proceed to…

Read More

Reinstatement Of Officer Does Not Violate Public Policy

Juma Jones is a police officer with the Town of East Hartford, Connecticut. While on the job, Jones accessed a police data system known as “COLLECT” on a number of occasions in violation of department policy. On one occasion, Jones used the system to obtain the address of a former girlfriend. He went to that person’s home uninvited and was arrested for criminal trespass and breach of the peace….

Read More

Arbitrator, Not Court, Determines Whether Grievance Is Timely

In June 2012, the Village of Tequesta, Florida terminated Officer John Cox’s employment. A collective bargaining agreement between Cox’s union and the Village provided for termination “for just cause.” The agreement set forth a three-step grievance and arbitration procedure to be followed in the event an employee challenged his or her termination. When the Village refused to process Cox’s grievance to arbitration, he brought a lawsuit seeking to compel…

Read More

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Opinion In Deadly Force Case

On January 29, 2010, while on duty, Portland Police Officer Ron Frashour shot and killed Aaron Campbell, who was unarmed. The incident began as a welfare check. Police had received a call that Campbell, who possessed a gun and was distraught over the recent death of his brother, might be in a certain apartment, might be suicidal, and might be threatening to commit “suicide by police.” The situation escalated…

Read More

Arbitration Award Can Retroactively Increase Employee Health Premiums

The last contract between the Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs’ Guild and Kitsap County, Washington was effective from 2008-2009. Under that CBA, deputies were not required to pay for their own health insurance premiums, but were required to pay 10% of their dependents’ premiums. During negotiations for the 2010-2012 CBA, the County proposed a shift in premiums such that employees would have to pay 3% of their own premiums and…

Read More

Administrative Leave Can Last Too Long

While on patrol on February 17, 2011, Officer Paul Tracey of the City of Waltham, Massachusetts was asked by a friend to help him obtain information from tenants he was attempting to remove from an apartment his family owned in Waltham. After accompanying his friend to the apartment and obtaining information from Edgar Gonzalez and his younger brother, Tracey left the apartment. Gonzalez immediately began complaining to the police…

Read More

E-Z Passes For Retirees Contractually Protected

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Port Authority Police Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. When the Authority eliminated free electronic toll collection system (known as E-Z Pass) privileges for retirees, the SBA challenged the decision in arbitration. An arbitrator ruled in the Association’s favor, relying on a 1973 Port Authority “Administrative Instruction,” PAI 40–1.01, that provides that retired…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Reinstatement Of Officer In Excessive Force Case Does Not Violate Public Policy

Officer Scott Oglesby worked for the Bloomington, Illinois Police Department and was a member of the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. In May 2011, the Department terminated Oglesby after sustaining an excessive force charge against him. The underlying incident occurred in December 2010, when Oglesby responded to an incident at a local school. When Oglesby arrived at the school, he reported to the principal’s office and was directed to…

Read More

Police Standards Board Not Bound By Arbitrator’s Decision

Lance Parcell was an officer in the Airport Police and Fire Department of the Alaska Department of Transportation. On May 5, 2006, while on a training assignment, Parcell and two other training officers went to a bar in Sitka and Parcell became extremely intoxicated. While at the bar, Parcell slid toward a female officer on a couch and made inappropriate sexual remarks, telling her “that he wanted to make…

Read More

Arbitrator Has No Authority To Rewrite Contract In The Name Of Fairness

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Pittsburgh and the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 has a secondary employment clause providing that “police officers engaged in secondary employment will receive the rate of pay for such work as agreed upon by and between the City and the Secondary Employer.” The “agreed upon rate of pay” for secondary employment is the overtime rate for a…

Read More

Arbitrator Has No Authority To Rewrite Contract In The Name Of Fairness

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Pittsburgh and the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 has a secondary employment clause providing that “police officers engaged in secondary employment will receive the rate of pay for such work as agreed upon by and between the City and the Secondary Employer.” The “agreed upon rate of pay” for secondary employment is the overtime rate for a…

Read More

Union, Not Firefighter, Has Right To Challenge Discipline In Arbitration

John Woods was a fire lieutenant for the Berwyn, Illinois Fire Department. A series of disputes arose between Woods and other members of the Department, and eventually the Department terminated Woods. Local 506 of the International Association of Fire Fighters voted not to challenge the termination in arbitration. The collective bargaining agreement between the Department and Local 506 allows employees the right to have disciplinary disputes not referred to…

Read More

Union’s Lawyer Disqualified From Arbitration Panel

Connecticut is one of several states that break public safety negotiations impasses with a “tri-partite” arbitration panel. Typically, the employer and union each appoint one member of the panel, and those two appointees select the third member of the panel. The “neutral” panel member is typically an experienced arbitrator, and the panel’s decision is arrived upon by majority vote. For many years, there has been a practice of appointing…

Read More

Firefighter Layoffs Deemed Not Arbitrable

When the City of Reno, Nevada lost federal grant money in 2014, the City announced it was laying off 32 firefighters whose jobs were funded by the grants. Local 731 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents the City’s rank-and-file firefighters, filed a grievance challenging the layoffs. The essence of Local 731’s grievance was that the City had sufficient discretionary funds to keep all firefighters employed. Local…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Opinion Does Not Violate State Health Insurance Statute

When the Town of Athol, Massachusetts unilaterally increased copayment amounts for medical services, Local 1751 of the International Association of Fire Fighters challenged the decision through the filing of a grievance. An arbitrator concluded that changes in copayments were a mandatory subject of collective bargaining and that the Town violated the contract by making the changes unilaterally. As a remedy, the arbitration award required the Town, among other things,…

Read More

Arbitrator Can Set Clear And Convincing Burden Of Proof In Disciplinary Cases

When Officer Kevin Hammond was terminated by the Village of Posen, Illinois Police Department, his labor organization, the Illinois FOP Labor Council, challenged the termination in arbitration. An arbitrator overturned the termination, finding that the Village had not presented “clear and convincing evidence” that termination was warranted. Discussing the proper quantum of proof, the Arbitrator noted a “widespread recognition” that arbitration of just cause vests the arbitrator with discretion…

Read More

Participation In Arbitration Hearing Forecloses Later Challenge To Decision

Stacy Keylon worked as a dispatcher for the City of Dos Palos, California Police Department. When disciplinary charges were lodged against her for bringing a loaded firearm to work, Keylon participated in a pre-termination hearing. However, because Keylon was denied the opportunity to provide mitigating facts, this hearing did not comply with the due process requirements outlined by the California Supreme Court in a case known as Skelly v….

Read More

Firefighters’ Past Practice Grievance Subject To Arbitration

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Orange, Texas and the Orange Association of Firefighters contains a grievance procedure with fairly standard wording. The contract defines as a grievance: “Any controversy between the City and the Union or any employee concerning the interpretation, enforcement, or application of any provision of this Agreement, or concerning any of the terms or conditions of employment contained in this Agreement.” When the…

Read More

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software