July 28, 2022

Silence in a collective bargaining agreement negotiated pursuant to Civil Service Law Article 14, the Taylor Law, does not infer a right or benefit

New York State's Court of Appeals [NYCA] accepted certification of questions submitted to it by the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit [USCA] concerning the vesting of lifetime rights to retirement benefits by public employees of the State as the employer. 

Answering the first part of USCA's first certified question, NYCA responded that "New York's contract law does not recognize ... inferences" of vested lifetime rights to retiree benefits from silence and that "[a]bsent such inferences, none of the Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA] provisions identified establish a vested right to lifetime fixed premium contributions, either singly or in combination." NYCA then declined "to determine whether the CBA's text is ambiguous." *

Considering the guidance provided by NYCA, USCA said that it concluded that the federal district court "did not err in granting summary judgment to the State respondents on both claims," explaining that "The New York Court of Appeals held as a matter of state law that the CBA provisions at issue cannot unambiguously establish a vested lifetime right to fixed premium contributions, so the breach of contract claim cannot succeed without the consideration of extrinsic evidence."

USCA further held that the CBA provisions at issue were not ambiguous regarding the establishment of such a vested right, and therefore "consideration of extrinsic evidence is not permissible".

On July 27, 2022, USCA handed down following decisions addressing this matter.

Click on the numbers highlighted in color to access the text of the decision.

18-3221

New York State Court Officers Association v. Hite

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3151

New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc. v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3220

Kreh v. Cuomo

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3142

The New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3066

The New York State Police Investigators Association v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3183

Police Benevolent Association v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3140

Spence v. State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3122 (L)

Brown v. State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3172

Roberts v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

 

18-3049

The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers, Inc. v. The State of New York

07-27-2022

SUM

* See 36 N.Y.3d 935; 38 N.Y.3d 1. 

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