IMPASSE RESOLUTION PROCESS UNDERWAY
Bargaining teams for the PSC and CUNY management met on March 8, marking the resumption of contract negotiations, this time in the presence of a mediator appointed by the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). The PSC agreed to enter mediation as part of its ongoing multifaceted attempt to reach an agreement with CUNY management, which declared an impasse in negotiations with the PSC — despite making only a single economic offer in the six years since the PSC contract expired, and management’s refusal to respond to the union’s counterproposal to that economic offer.
The mediation proceedings are governed by the New York State Public Employees Fair Employment Act, known as the Taylor Law. On January 29, 2016, PERB appointed Kim Moore-Ward, regional director of PERB’s Brooklyn office and a PERB administrative law judge, to mediate contract talks between the two parties.
If mediation does not resolve the collective negotiations, PERB may then appoint a fact-finding board, which has the power to make public, nonbinding recommendations for the resolution of the contract.
After the fact-finding board makes its report — which can take as long as a year — if the impasse continues, PERB has the authority to take steps it deems appropriate to resolve the dispute. These may include additional recommendations to those made in the fact-finding report, or providing voluntary arbitration for the parties. In the unlikely event that deliberations reach the stage of fact-finding and either CUNY or the PSC does not accept the recommendations of the fact-finding board, its report would be submitted to the CUNY Board of Trustees, which may take further action to reach an agreement.