Monday, August 17, 2015

Employer has an obligation to provide information reasonably necessary for contract administration made in the context of disciplinary grievances


Employer has an obligation to provide information reasonably necessary for contract administration made in the context of disciplinary grievances
City of New York v New York State Nurses Assn., 2015 NY Slip Op 04437, Appellate Division, First Department

The Board of Collective Bargaining of the City of New York [Board] granted an improper practice petition to the extent of compelling the City of New York to disclose certain materials requested by the New York State Nurses Association in connection with employee disciplinary proceedings. 

The Appellate Division said that the question presented to this Court is not whether we agree with the administrative agency's determination that a union was entitled to obtain certain documents relevant to disciplinary proceedings against two of its members, but simply whether the determination was rationally based. 

The court said it found no basis to annul the Board’s determination, explaining that the Board’s decision is entitled to substantial deference as it engaged in a thorough analysis of its enabling statute, its own precedent, the underlying collective bargaining agreement, and relevant Appellate Division jurisprudence.

The Appellate Division also noted that in making its determination, the Board discussed several of its prior orders holding that the duty to furnish information pursuant to Administrative Code of the City of New York §12-306(c)(4) extends to information "relevant to and reasonably necessary for purposes of collective negotiations or contract administration," and that it also applies in the context of "processing grievances." 

Accordingly, said the court, the Board determined that although the agreement "does not explicitly obligate the parties to provide requested information in conjunction with the disciplinary process," the statutory "obligation to provide information reasonably necessary for contract administration applies to requests made in the context of disciplinary grievances, and that failure to provide such materials upon request" constitutes an improper practice.

Vacating the ruling of the Supreme Court annulling the Board’s determination, the Appellate Division reinstated the Board’s decision and dismissed this proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR Article 78.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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