According to the calendar page of the State Supreme Court Appellate Division: 4th Judicial Department, attorneys Terence O’Neil from Bond, Schoeneck & King and Charles DeAngelo from Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo are scheduled to appear before the appellate division justices on Monday, March 30 to argue on behalf of their respective clients – the City of Jamestown and the Jamestown Kendall Club PBA.
The long-awaited showdown is the result of the Jamestown City Council voting in May 2019 to appeal a State Supreme Court Decision that upheld an October 2018 arbitration ruling on the 2016-17 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the city and the Kendall Club. Among other things, that ruling provided a retroactive 2 percent increase in salaries for each of those two years for police officers.
The council’s decision to appeal came after Chautauqua County Supreme Court judge James Dillon ruled in April 2019 that that arbitration panel ruling on the matter would stand.
The city has long argued that it can’t afford giving officers the salary increase because it will have an impact not only on any reserve funding that has been built up, but also on all future expenses for the city. In addition they say the increase to the police union will also likely be applied to the 2016-17 Jamestown Professional Firefighters Association CBA, which is also still unsettled and has been awaiting the outcome of the police contract issue before being resolved. While still in office, former Jamestown mayor Sam Teresi had said the bottom-line impact would approach an excess of over $800,000 if the arbitration ruling where allowed to stand.
“To allow that decision to stand will have an $840,000 unbudgeted impact on the 2019 budget. And that impact is only for retroactive raises for 2016 and 2017. If that decision is allowed to stand, it could lay the groundwork for a similar retroactive payment with the fire union moving forward. And as well that $840,000 impact for the police union alone doesn’t take into account raises that might be received for 2018, 2019, and 2020 moving forward,” Teresi explained in March 2019.
The city is paying Bond, Schoeneck, and King $25,000 to handle the Appellate Division case.
Once arguments are made before the appellate division justices, they will then deliberate and deliver at some point later this year.