Joan W. Keenan


collective bargaining, union, teachers union, arbitration, void contract, public policy, New York


In this case note, Joan W. Keenan analyzes Board of Education v. Yonkers Federation of Teachers, 40 N.Y.2d 268, 353 N.E.2d 569, 386 N.Y.S.2d 657 (1976). In 1975 the city of Yonkers was plagued by a severe financial emergency. As part of an effort to balance its budget, plaintiff Yonkers City Board of Education unilaterally terminated the services of a number of teachers. Defendant Yonkers Federation of Teachers demanded arbitration on this issue under the terms of a job security clause contained in the collective bargaining agreement between the Board and the Federation. Plaintiff then brought a proceeding for a stay of arbitration. The Supreme Court, Westchester County, held the job security clause void as violative of public policy and granted a stay of arbitration. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court rulings and enforced the collective bargaining agreement by directing the parties to proceed to arbitration under its terms. It held that job security is a proper subject for bargaining between public employers and public employees because no statute, controlling decisional law, nor restrictive public policy prohibits negotiating about the subject.



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