Arbitration Victory for the Town of Plymouth

Attorneys David Jenkins and Jeff Hughes successfully defended the Town of Plymouth in arbitration of a grievance challenging the Town’s decision to select a candidate with less seniority for promotion to a supervisory position.  The Union grieved the non-selection of the more senior candidate, claiming that the Town’s failure to select the more senior candidate violated the collective bargaining agreement.  In evaluating the case, the arbitrator deferred to two recent arbitration awards between the parties that interpreted the same provision of the parties’ agreement, and determined that the prior interpretation of the same language effectively became a binding part of the parties’ agreement. The arbitrator reasoned that the Town has substantial discretion to apply the contractual criteria for a promotion to a higher rated position, and to make a reasonable determination regarding the most qualified candidate.  Applying this standard, the arbitrator ruled that the Town reasonably concluded that the selected candidate possessed superior experience in the administrative, financial, supervisor, and communications areas that the Town deemed to be most important in filling the vacancy.