AFSCME New York Council 66, Local 418, which represents employees in the City’s Department of Public Works, filed the suit in Chautauqua County Supreme Court.
The union had filed three grievances, which Arbitrator Douglas Bantle found the city failed to respond to or set a meeting in the time period required in the union’s contract.
The filing said Corporation Counsel Elliot Raimondo cited various scheduling and health issues on the part of both parties for why meetings were not scheduled or had to be canceled.
Following a meeting between the union and city with the arbitrator in July; the arbitrator made a determination on August 8, 2022 that agreed with the request from the union that the city provide back pay for the three grievances and that the “City’s arguments were contractually and legally without merit.”
Under the Arbitrator’s ruling, both the city and union then had 20 days to request a modification of the award.
The lawsuit in State Supreme Court contends that no modification requests were received and that the “blatant refusal by the City to honor and implement the Award of Arbitrator Bantle is being done with no legal basis and contrary to the process negotiated by the Union and the City in their collective bargaining agreement.”
The lawsuit had been filed in State Supreme Court on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. Council President Tony Dolce confirmed that Council was previously aware of the arbitration proceedings, but not of the litigation.