• Board of Mediation and Arbitration
  • Board of Mediation and Arbitration
  • Blum, Esq., Franzo and Ryan
  • Dec 31 2012 (Date Decided)
  • 2012-A-0463

A union can file a grievance to represent the concerns of current union members that a municipality ceased to make certain contributions when members of the bargaining unit turned 65 years old. The union filed a grievance and alleged that the Town of Greenwich violated Article XII of the collective bargaining contract, because it did not make certain contributions when the members of the bargaining unit turned 65. The municipality objected that the union's grievance complaint was not arbitrable, because it concerned individuals who no longer belonged to the collective bargaining unit. The union claimed it brought the grievance on behalf of current members of the collective bargaining unit who "need to know that the agreed upon contribution will be made in order to accurately plan their retirement." When a collective bargaining contract includes an arbitration clause, a presumption of arbitrability exists for labor disputes. Doubts should be resolved in favor of coverage. Arbitrators found, by a preponderance of evidence, that the grievance concerned current members of the union and was arbitrable. "This grievance," wrote arbitrators, "is clearly being filed by the Union on behalf of current members of the bargaining units so it meets the contractual requirements of the persons bringing the grievance being active employees and part of . . . the bargaining unit." Saranne Murray represented the municipality, and James Ferguson represented the union.