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STATE COURT AFFIRMS PEF POSITION IN JOB TITLES CASE

For release: March 24, 2016. Appellate Division Rejects Administration Attempt to Withdraw from Previous Agreement on Classification of M/C Positions

ALBANY, N.Y. — A state appellate court today ruled in favor of the Public Employees Federation (PEF) in a long-running dispute involving whether certain workers designated as management/ confidential should be moved to the PEF bargaining unit.

The Supreme Court Appellate Division today rejected Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) arguments that sought to invalidate a 2013 agreement between GOER and PEF where the parties agreed that some 250 M/C positions spread across several state agencies should be in the PEF bargaining unit.

The case began in 2010 when PEF filed petitions seeking to move numerous M/C titles to PEF. PEF dropped some of those challenges in exchange for its agreement with GOER regarding the 250 positions.  The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) issued a decision based on this agreement and placed the positions in PEF.  Subsequently, GOER moved to vacate the agreement.

PERB and successive state courts rejected GOER’s petition – noting that the original agreement with PEF was sound. GOER could ask for leave to appeal to the state’s highest court, but the definitive nature of the court’s ruling today makes such an appeal unlikely. In its unanimous ruling, the five judge panel said that GOER arguments were without merit.

PEF President Wayne Spence said: “We’re pleased that the court has ruled in our favor and we welcome these new members to PEF.”

The case, State v. PERB and PEF, was argued in January and decided today.