City, Police Union Arbitration Case Dates Set

The dates have been set for the arbitration hearing between the city of Jamestown and the Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association.

On Monday, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the three-member panel arbitration case will be held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 12-13. The independent arbitrator for the panel will be Howard Foster. According to the University at Buffalo website, Foster is a professor emeritus for the School of Management organization and human resources department who has arbitrated more than 800 labor-management disputes.

Teresi said Todd Thomas, city clerk and administrative services manager, will represent the city and John Crotty will represent the police union on the arbitration panel.

In October, Teresi said city officials would like the arbitration proceedings to be open to the media and the public. On Wednesday, the mayor said it won’t be determined until the first day of the arbitration hearing whether it will be open to the media and the public.

“I guess we will find out on the morning of Feb. 12. Our team will be making a case that it should be open and we expect that the union will object,” Teresi said. “It will come down to the panel member from the (Public Employment Relations Board) to decide whether to keep the doors open or to send packing anyone from the public and media that shows up. We are hoping for both literal and virtual sunshine in the room that day.”

Prior to a decision being reached by the arbitration panel, Teresi said Monday city and police union officials are allowed to continue negotiating to possibly reach an agreement. However, he said seeing that the negotiations have stretched out to the point of a scheduled arbitration hearing date, it is unlikely an agreement will be reached.

If the arbitration panel reaches a decision, it will just be for the two years, 2016-17, there was no contract between the city and police union. The last contract agreement expired the end of 2015.