The PBA sends its congratulations and thanks to the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the NYPD, which proposed a Taylor Law amendment that was passed by the Legislature and signed into law last week by Gov. George Pataki.
The amendment is designed to prevent employers from engaging in unfair labor practices. The new measure grants the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) the ability to award equitable relief to employees for the loss of pay or benefits resulting from an employer’s violation of a cease-and-desist order.
As it is now, an employee organization may file an Improper Practice charge at PERB against the employer on the grounds of failure to bargain in good faith. However, even if PERB had ruled against the employer, the only remedy allowable would have been the issuance of a case-and-desist order.
Such orders and remedies have proven to provide little, if any, incentive for employers to negotiate an agreement. Often times, the employer may find it is in their best financial interests and bargaining position to hold off on negotiations for as long as possible.
While there is no real disincentive for public employers to negotiate; current anti-strike provisions do authorize strict penalties against individual employees equal to two days of pay for each violation.
This new law will finally help level the playing field and help bring about real reform at the bargaining table.
The new law goes into effect in 180 days. To read the text of the law in PDF format, click on the link above.