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Local News

June 15, 2013

Administrative judge orders ORDA to enact employee contract

LAKE PLACID — A ruling by an administrative judge has ordered the Olympic Regional Development Authority to implement a union contract agreement.

According to documents from a recent Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruling, the employment contract for ORDA’s full and part-time employees had expired in 2009. 

Negotiations gained tentative agreement for a new contract on Jan. 27, 2012.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed in the Relations Board proceeding. 

But the contract was not discussed or voted on formally by ORDA’s Board of Directors in a meeting last June, five months after negotiations ended.

ORDA CEO Ted Blazer allegedly told the workers’ union, the Civil Service Employees Association, he would put the employment contract on the board’s June agenda. But the contract was neither discussed nor put to vote.

‘WITHOUT EXCUSE’

CSEA filed a formal complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board last July.

Hearing paperwork says a violation occurred when ORDA failed to act on the contract “within a reasonable time.”

Administrative Law Judge Jean Doerr ruled in May that ORDA has to enact the collective bargaining agreement.

The Public Employment Relations Board is a quasi-judicial entity that works to mediate or otherwise arbitrate employment contract issues.

Once an administrative law judge rules on a case, it can then be appealed, seeking exception from the Employment Relations Board. If a dispute is not settled in that arena, it can then be brought to state supreme court, according to the New York State Employment Relations Act.

PERB documents indicate ORDA charged that the union failed to prove the Board of Directors was under legal obligation to “consider and act on” the tentative labor agreement.

But, Doerr said, “CSEA brought this charge against (ORDA) and not its board.” The union needed to show only that ORDA had failed to bargain in good faith, the final order said.

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