With the advent of the Public Employees Fair Employment Act (Taylor Law) in 1967, collective negotiations with employee organizations have emerged as an integral part of the activities of the participating school districts and boards of cooperative educational services.
The vast majority of employees have been organized, and at the present time there exists approximately 100 negotiated agreements with recognized or certified labor unions among the educational institutions and county government represented through this service.
Contract Management, Grievances and Arbitrations
While the negotiated agreement is in effect, the Labor Relations Service provides advice on matters pertaining to contractual interpretation and representation in grievance and arbitration proceedings. This is in addition to the regular day to day discussions concerning the administration and interpretation of the provisions of the negotiated agreement. These ancillary functions are extremely important as an adverse determination in any proceeding could have a detrimental impact upon the district.
Negotiations is an important function and typically begins with an analysis of the existing agreement prior to the beginning of bargaining. This is done by reviewing provisions of the current negotiated agreement and determining if any changes need to be made. Following the initial review, a meeting is usually held with the administrative staff in order to develop proposals. After the initial proposals are submitted, a follow-up meeting is scheduled with board of education to review the proposals and to establish parameters for negotiations.
In addition to the activities associated with negotiations and contract administration, the staff has been representing as well as advising clients on matters pertaining to unit representation proceedings, improper labor practice charges, and most recently unemployment insurance hearings. As previously noted, the Labor Relations Service has been involved in numerous unit certification proceedings, stays of arbitration, grievances, approximately arbitrations, improper labor practice cases, Section 75 Civil Service Law hearings, as well as involvement in tenure, human rights, unemployment and strike hearings.
A Bi-Monthly Newsletter
The Labor Relations Service publishes a bimonthly newsletter, “The Advocate,” which reports on topics germane to personnel and labor relations.
Surveys and Data Comparisons
The Labor Relations Service periodically updates and publishes wage comparisons and supplemental benefit surveys and makes these available to districts for use in negotiations.
The arbitration award database is constantly being updated. To date, it includes in excess of 13,000 awards from school districts and other public employers. The file is extremely useful in preparation for arbitration.
In addition to the foregoing, staff members conduct periodic labor relations workshops to educate and update chief school officers, administrators, principals, and board of education members.
Labor Relations Service
1879 W. Genesee St. Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
P: (315) 255-7683
F: (315) 255-7625
Randy J. Ray
Director of Personnel Relations
P: (315) 255-7635
J. Ryan Hatch
Labor Relations Specialist
P: (315) 253-0361, ext. 5833
Nicholas R. Minderler
Labor Relations Specialist
P: (315) 253-0361, ext. 5832
Kelly M. Walsh
P: (315) 253-0361, ext. 5834
P: (315) 253-0361, ext. 5830