Commission Orders Employer to Restore Practice of Affording Retirees Option of Receiving Terminal Leave in Lump Sum

By Ira W. Mintz, Esq.

North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue and North Hudson Firefighters Association

In P.E.R.C. No. 2013-83, the Commission found that the employer violated its obligation to negotiate in good faith when it unilaterally terminated a practice of paying terminal leave in one lump sum.  Among other things, the Commission held that whether or not the employer could afford lump sum payments was not relevant to whether it violated its negotiations obligation, and deferral to arbitration was not appropriate since the dispute was over termination of a long-standing past practice, not a provision of the contract.  The employer’s motion for reconsideration was denied.  P.E.R.C. No. 2014-2.

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