The PBA is encouraging all members to attend a court proceeding in two weeks in which the PBA will be presenting oral arguments before the State Supreme Court in Albany regarding our collective bargaining process.
On August 18th (Thursday) at 10a.m., the PBA will argue in an Article 78 Proceeding the PBA filed on behalf of our members, that the court should overrule PERB board in an important case regarding our collective bargaining process.
The basic facts of the case are as follows.
The Taylor Law outlines the areas of bargaining for which NYSP members through the rank of Major may utilize the binding arbitration process. These areas are basically all facets of bargaining except for “disciplinary procedures and investigations or eligibility and assignment to details and positions…” In the past, bargaining in these areas required the PBA to utilize the mediation and fact-finding steps.
The PBA previously filed for fact-finding for areas related to discipline procedures (and also assignment to details), mainly regarding the PBA’s goal to replace Division’s discipline hearing board system with an independent arbitrator. The PBA did attend fact-finding hearings and we presented evidence showing that Division’s discipline hearing board system was unfair, not independent, not properly governed by the rules of evidence and that the membership generally did not have confidence in this system.
After a series of fact-finding hearings, the State filed motions at PERB to have the process halted and to have discipline procedures ruled a “prohibited” subject of bargaining. The Administrative Law Judge at PERB ruled in the PBA’s favor and held that this was not a prohibited subject of bargaining. The State appealed to the full PERB Board, which overruled the ALJ’s decision in favor of the PBA, and ruled that discipline was a prohibited subject. Due to the fact that certain facets of State Police discipline are referred to in the Executive Law, the PERB Board ruled they could not be the subject of bargaining.
The PBA then filed an Article 78 lawsuit on behalf of the membership to appeal the PERB Board’s decision. The oral arguments on the 18th are in support of that appeal, and the State’s attorneys will argue against our appeal. At the top of this page, you will find a copy of the legal brief filed by PBA attorneys in this case. To read this brief, click on the red-and-white icon at the top of the page.
It is important for any members who are able to attend, to do so. This will allow you to see firsthand the PBA’s fight to change Division’s unfair and antiquated discipline system. If you plan on attending, please wear appropriate business attire. We will meet at the PBA offices at 120 State Street by 9 a.m. and we will walk to the court from there.