The Chief
January 11, 2002

PERB Panel Is Picked to Rule On PBA Pact

By William Van Auken

The state Public Employment Relations Board Jan. 4 formally named a three-person arbitration panel that will determine the terms and conditions of employment for 27,000 NYPD Police Officers.

The board's designation came a day after the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the city's Office of Labor Relations agreed on designating Dana E. Eischen as the "public" or neutral member of the panel.

Wide Experience

Mr. Eischen, a 25-year veteran arbitrator, has served on three Presidential Emergency Boards and has worked as an arbitrator in Major League Baseball, the rail, airlines communications and manufacturing industries, as well as in the education and public sectors.

Joining Mr. Eischen are the city's choice for the panel, Gary J. Dellaverson, the labor relations director for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and Ronald G. Dunn, an Albany attorney who represented the PBA in the protracted court battle over the constitutionality of the 1998 law placing the police union's collective-bargaining dispute under PERB jurisdiction.

Last month, the State Court of Appeals upheld lower court rulings finding that the law did not violate home-rule provisions of the State Constitution, clearing the way for arbitration.

Tactical Advantage

The police union has long sought to be placed under PERB for contract arbitration purposes on the theory that the state panel would be more likely than the city's Board of Collective Bargaining to take into account higher salaries paid by police departments in surrounding jurisdictions.

The panel is expected to soon begin hearings on contract dispute, and is charged under the Taylor Law with making a "just and reasonable" arbitration award that is binding on both the city and the union.

The award, however, cannot exceed two years. The PBA's last contract expired on July 31, 2000, meaning that the city and its largest police union will be facing a new contract dispute this summer.