Trenton police officers’ arbitration award upheld in appellate court

An arbitrator’s decision upholding payment to Trenton police officers for a 10-minute, roll-call muster period has been upheld.

In a  4-3 ruling posted by the N.J. Supreme Court Tuesday, the court held that “straight-time compensation was contemplated” for that 10-minute period that the city required employees to work prior to their scheduled start time.

The dispute was between the city and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the PBA on Sept. 13, 2007. An appellate court had reversed a trial court ruling and reinstated the arbitration award. The city then appealed to the Supreme Court.

The court has now remanded the matter to trial court for confirmation of an arbitration award.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote that such an award is contrary to the “plain language’’ of the collective-bargaining agreement, and that “the arbitrator effectively rewrote the agreement” between the parties.

Trenton police officers’ arbitration award upheld in appellate court