Friday, August 17, 2012

Labor Arbitration in the News

A Niles, Ill. police officer will receive in excess of $100,000. in settlement of a dispute over his termination. The officer had been terminated after being accused of sexually assaulting a waitress in a bar while off duty. In April of 2012 an arbitrator ordered the employee reinstated. Arbitrator Orders Suspended Niles Officer Reinstated. While the City initially threatened to seek to overturn the award, the parties reached an agreement to resolve the matter by reducing the back pay owed by nine months. Tap Reserves To Pay For Niles Officer's Return.

The City of Warwick, Rhode Island has been ordered to reinstate a DPW worker who had been terminated for alleged theft from the City. According to a report on, the arbitrator concluded that the employee had been improperly subjected to double jeopardy after the Mayor overturned an earlier decision suspending the employee and ordering his termination. DPW worker fired for stealing reinstated, Mayor reacts.

New Jersey has modified its teacher tenure law. One element of the change includes a process for arbitrators to make a decision when a tenure charge against a teacher is contested. The change is discussed in a report in NJSpotlight Tenure Reform Law: The Debates Ahead. According to the report, 25 arbitrators, all of whom must be members of the National Academy of Arbitrators, will be selected by the stakeholders (three, by the AFT; nine by the New Jersey School Boards Association and five by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association).

A New Mexico court had enforced two arbitration awards finding that the state violated its union contracts by failing to grant employees their full contractually called for increases. NM may owe $20M in back pay to state workers. The state legislature had appropriated money for a lesser increase for both union and non-union employees. The court’s opinion can be found here.

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