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August 20, 2018

Implementing an arbitrator's decision after the appointing authority failed to timely comply with the provisions set out in a collective bargaining agreement


Implementing an arbitrator's decision after the appointing authority failed to timely comply with the provisions set out in a collective bargaining agreement
Appeal of Nadav Zeimer, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 17468

The relevant provision of the collective bargaining agreement [COB] required the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education [Chancellor] issue a written decision within 15 days of the employee's request that the Chancellor review the arbitrator's decision.

When the Chancellor failed to comply with this provision of the COB, Nadav Zeimer [Petitioner] requested that the Commissioner of Education [Commissioner] to “disregard the Chancellor's [d]ecision and consider [Petitioner’s appeal letter] a direct appeal of the Arbitration Decision.”

The Commissioner noted that the Chancellor had issued a determination addressing Petitioner’s December 5, 2017 appeal well after the 15 days required by both the CBA and an earlier order of the Commissioner set out in Appeal of Zeimer, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,357.*  This, noted the Commissioner, is not the first time that the Chancellor has missed this deadline, citing Appeal of Chou, 55 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 16,848.**

In the words of the Commissioner, "The Chancellor’s unexplained delay is particularly egregious because the record shows that NYCDOE filed a proceeding under Article 75 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) contesting the arbitrator’s reinstatement of petitioner, and that this proceeding was fully submitted on April 27, 2018, six days prior to the Chancellor’s determination at issue herein, which was required to be timely rendered by the Agreement and by my March 26, 2018 decision and order in Appeal of Zeimer (57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,357)."

After admonishing the Chancellor "to review the provisions of the Agreement and its legal obligation to ensure that the Chancellor renders a determination within 15 days of an arbitrator’s determination pursuant to Article VII(J)(4)(a)(6) of the Agreement," the Commissioner, nevertheless, declined to strike the Chancellor’s determination in this case. However, said the Commissioner, in view of tthe "the lack of demonstrated prejudice to [Petitioner] and in the interests of justice," she declined "to strike the Chancellor’s determination in this case." The Chancellor was then "cautioned" that future noncompliance may warrant additional corrective measures.

* The Commissioner took judicial notice that at the time Petitioner initiated Appeal of Zeimer, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,357, the Chancellor was Carmen FariƱa.  The instant Chancellor is Richard A. Carranza.

** Indeed, observed the Commissioner, the Chancellor cited Appeal of Chou "for the proposition that 'the Commissioner previously authorized a decision by the Chancellor despite the delay in its issuance' to support consideration of the Chancellor’s late determination" in the instant appeal. 

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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