City of Long Beach v. Civil Service Employees Association

This Court of Appeals case centered on whether or not issues submitted by the Civil Service Employees Association were subject to arbitration.

This the history of the case includes a report issued by the New York State Civil Service Commission in the year 2004 noting that Long Beach had poor control over its provisional appointments in the civil service. Most importantly several positions in the competitive class have been filled with provisional appointments and one had been filled provisionally for a total of 19 years.

The city determined that the provisional appointments violated Civil Service Law and terminated the employees. The CSEA filed grievances and demanded arbitration alleging that the employees were tenured.

The city brought an action to stop the arbitration. The Supreme Court granted the motion to stay the arbitration and the Appellate Division affirmed. Their reasoning behind the decision is that a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to arbitrate these disputes violated Civil Service Law.

Citing Civil Service Law section 65 (1) the court found that provisional appointments are allowed when there is no eligible list available for filling a vacancy in a competitive class and then for only a maximum of nine months. Furthermore, once a provisional employee has been in a position four months the City must hold a Civil Service examination. Section 65 allows no tenure to provisional employees and the collective bargaining agreement between the city and the C. S. E.A. is meaningless in light of the Civil Service Law.