PERB concluded that the United Federation of Teachers [UFT] did not breach its duty of fair representation when it declined to demand Petitioner's grievance be submitted to arbitration. UFT had decided not to arbitrate Petitioner's grievance based on undisputed evidence that Petitioner was not between work assignments when she was struck by a car but instead had completed her last assignment of the day and was on her way home and that Petitioner was using her cell phone when crossing the street.
The Petitioner's employer's criteria for "line-of-duty-injury" [LODI] status required that the employee be "injured while performing duties connected with [her] assignment" and that the injury "could not have been foreseen or avoided with ordinary care by the injured employee." The Appellate Division opined that "UFT's decision was not so outside the 'wide range of reasonableness' afforded to unions in their representation of members as to be arbitrary," citing Matter of Civil Serv. Bar Assn., Local 237 Intl. v City of New York, 99 AD2d 264, affirmed 64 NY2d 188.*
Finding that PERB's decision regarding Petitioner's fair representation claim had "a rational basis," the Appellate Division said it "must affirm" PERB's determination.
In addition, citing Rochester Teachers Assn., 45 PERB ¶3033, the court sustained PERB's Administrative Law Judge's decision not to order UFT to produce its arbitration statistics as it was consistent with PERB's rules limiting the availability of discovery in improper practice charge disputes.
* In Matter of Port Washington Union Free School Dist. v Port Washington Teachers Assn, 268 AD2d 523, the Appellate Division, citing Matter of Blackburne, 87 N.Y.2d 660, observed that a statute, decisional law or public policy may preclude referring a Taylor Law contract dispute to arbitration,.
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