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February 5, 2013

Interest arbitration held to contravene public policy insofar as a public entity's being bound to nonmandatory subjects of collective bargaining in negotiating a new agreement

Interest arbitration held to contravene public policy insofar as a public entity's being bound to nonmandatory subjects of collective bargaining in negotiating a new agreement
Niagara Frontier Tr. Metro Sys., Inc. v Amalgamated Tr. Union Local Union 1342,2013 NY Slip Op 00622, Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Supreme Court denied Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System’s petition to stay arbitration in case that involved a labor dispute arising from a collective bargaining agreement [CBA] between the System, a public benefit corporation that provides bus and light rail transit service, and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local Union 1342 (Local 1342), which represents a unit of System’s employees.

Local 1342 had demanded that the terms and conditions of a new CBA be determined by compulsory "interest arbitration." 

The Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s decision and granted the System’s petition.

The Appellate Division explained that “even assuming, arguendo, that the [Collective Bargaining] Agreement entitles Local 1342 to interest arbitration over [the System’s] objection, we would conclude, as we did in ATU,* that such a result ‘contravenes public policy, both by compelling a public entity, which has broad responsibilities to the entire population of the State, to be bound forever to nonmandatory subjects of bargaining, i.e., interest arbitration, and by encumbering its ability to negotiate an entirely new collective bargaining agreement which reflects the changing requirements and mandates of the public interest’"

* Matter of Local Union 1342 of Amalgamated Tr. Union v Niagara Frontier Tr. Metro Sys, 183 AD2d 355, leave to appeal denied, 81 NY2d 710.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: 
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_00622.htm

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