Decision Coming After Hearing Between City, Police Union Ends

The arbitration hearing between the city of Jamestown and the Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association has been concluded, with both sides waiting on a determination now from the three-member panel.

During a Jamestown City Council work session meeting Monday, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the three-day hearing wrapped up May 9. He said both sides now will prepare a final briefing to be submitted to the arbitration panel by June 14. He added the panel will analyze the information presented during the hearing and the final briefs before reaching a decision.

No date or deadline has been given on when the panel will reach their decision.

The three-member arbitration panel included independent arbitrator 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. Todd Thomas, city clerk and administrative services director, represented the city and John Crotty represented the police union on the arbitration panel.

Since the start of 2016, the Jamestown Police Department bargaining unit has been without a new contract. Prior to the start of the arbitration hearing April 12, Teresi said the arbitration panel will determine whether to just make a ruling on the two years the union had no contract or if they will also provide guidance moving forward for the two sides on a new contract. He also said, in most cases, an arbitration panel usually just rules on whether or not a collecting bargaining unit will receive a pay increase and how much of a raise they will receive. He added the panel can also determine benefit levels and health insurance contributions, but, in Teresi’s experience, those items are usually not determined by the three-member group.

Teresi said he has been contacted by several officials throughout the state about how the arbitration hearing was open to the public and the media. He said, to his knowledge, it is the first time a binding interest arbitration hearing has been opened to the public and the media.