Police labor contract headed for arbitration after PBA members reject agreement
An arbitration panel will consider the positions of both the City of Batavia and Police Benevolent Association today after PBA members rejected a tentative contract negotiated by union leaders and city officials.
The 30-member union rejected the proposed contract negotiated by its leadership with city officials that included a 2.25 percent annual pay increase retroactive to 2007.
The proposed contract would have ran through March 2013.
Sources told WBTA that the contract included some health benefit concessions.
"Both parties worked hard to come to an agreement and I think we both thought it was OK," said City Manager Jason Molino. "It’s unfortunate it wasn’t accepted."
Molino could not confirm the details of the rejected agreement.
We left a message asking for comment from PBA president Dan Coffey at his work number yesterday and haven't heard back from him yet.
An arbitration panel will consider police officers' pay in comparably sized communities, the positions of members and the city, as well as a community's ability to pay.
Molino said this is likely the first time a police contract has come before an arbitration panel since the state passed a property tax cap.
The cap could greatly impact a municipality's ability to adjust its budget to absorb union contract costs, but it's unclear if the cap will be an issue in this case.
"You would think the panel would consider it, but each arbitration is different and each panel is different," Molino said.
The arbitration panel meeting is held in secret. It could be months before a decision is announced.
Under terms of the Taylor Law, when police and fire unions are unable to reach an agreement with government agencies, the dispute must be decided by an arbitration panel. Other government unions do not enjoy automatic arbitration and must reach a negotiated agreement.