Authority of the arbitrator
City of New York v District Council 37, 2018 NY Slip Op 03220, Appellate Division, First Department
Supreme Court granted the City of New York's petition to vacate an arbitration award, denied the grievance, and dismissed this proceeding the City brought pursuant to CPLR Article 75. The Appellate division unanimously affirmed the Supreme Court's ruling.
The court explained that an arbitrator exceeds his or her powers when the "award violates a strong public policy, is irrational or clearly exceeds a specifically enumerated limitation on the arbitrator's power."
However, the fact that there is a provision in a contract that the arbitrator may not alter or modify does not limit the arbitrator's power to resolve the dispute by interpreting the contract based on his or her findings as to the intent of the parties.
In contrast, an arbitration award should be vacated where it is not derived from the contract but from the deliberate and intentional consideration of matters outside the contract.
Here, said the Appellate Division, the record shows that the arbitration award added to or modified the collective bargaining agreement as the arbitrator's decision rewrote the contract for the parties by expanding the number of workers entitled to the assignment differential, when the contract expressly limited the differential to workers at a specific facility.
This exceed the arbitrator's powers as such an action was expressly prohibited in the agreement
The decision is posted on the Internet at: