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October 15, 2013

Negotiating on behalf of active employees concerning to benefits available to them following retirement and negotiating on behalf of retired employees distinguished


Negotiating on behalf of active employees concerning to benefits available to them following retirement and negotiating on behalf of retired employees distinguished
Oneida PBA v. City of Oneida, PERB Case U-5805

The Union (PBA) demanded hospitalization benefits which the City contended would apply to retired employees. The PBA reformed its demand, claiming that the benefit improvement would apply only to present employees and that it merely requested that the present health insurance benefits be continued for retired employees.

The City subsequently filed a charge with PERB claiming PBA had applied for arbitration on non-mandatory items of negotiations. When the hearing officer ruled in favor of the City, finding the “revised demand constituted a unitary demand which is nonnegotiable,” PBA appealed. 

PERB affirmed the hearing officer’s ruling, distinguishing between PBA negotiating on behalf of present employees with respect to benefits to be available to them upon their retirement and negotiating on behalf of then retired employees.

PBA, said PERB, had the right to negotiate only for current unit members and retired persons are not “current unit members”
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