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Times Union: PEF Hails Job Classification Ruling

The president of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), Susan M. Kent, said she applauds the decision ruled by the Albany Supreme Court to place 250 management-confidential (M/C) employees into the PS&T bargaining unit.

The white-collar labor union initially received a favorable decision from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) saying the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) failed to show good cause as to why the former M/C employees should be placed in the PS&T Unit.

“PEF argued this case in court in October before Albany Supreme Court Justice Francis Collins,” Kent said. “We had specifically agreed with GOER in March 2013 that these employees be placed in the bargaining unit. GOER tried to void that agreement.

“With so many attempts being made to demonize state employees and reduce the state workforce, this ruling is very welcomed and very just,” Kent said. “My administration said it will fight for members’ rights and go to court when necessary to protect them. PEF will continue to do so, as long as the governor continues to ignore the rulings of PERB.”

The State has until January 13, 2015 to file a notice of appeal.  If the State files a notice of appeal, then enforcement of the decision is “stayed” until the appeal is decided.  This means that the titles do not get transferred to PEF until the court rules on the appeal, and the State has a minimum of 60 days to perfect the appeal.  If the State does not perfect within 60 days, we will file a motion asking the court to dismiss the appeal, which will result in the court giving the State a firm deadline by which to perfect.  After the State perfects the appeal, the case will be scheduled for argument before the Appellate Division.

Based on the above timeframes, it is likely that if the State appeals, the appeal will be decided in the summer or fall of 2015.  We do not know whether the State will appeal.

Second, on the question of whether transfer of these employees into the PS&T Unit should be retroactive, it is our position the transfer should be retroactive to March 27, 2013, which is the date the PERB Director of Public Employment Practices and Representation issued his decision placing the at-issue titles in the PS&T Unit.

For more on this story, see the Times Union’s Rick Karlin’s story HERE.