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Former PERB Board Member Al DeMarco and former PERB Executive Director Anthony Zumbolo were among the over 400 people who gathered at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, NY on May 10-11 to celebrate and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of New York’s Taylor Law.
PERB Chair John Wirenius gave opening remarks to start the conference
Also welcoming participants was Natacha Carbajal-Evangelista, Assistant Secretary for Labor and Workforce in the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
The first plenary featured Joseph Slater, Todd Dickey, and Martin H. Malin discussing how the Taylor Law compares with similar laws in other states and the federal sector.
Arbitrator John Sands asks a question of the presenters at the first plenary.
The conference featured over 75 presenters from across the country.
Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College William A. Herbert and CSEA President Danny Donohue were part of the second plenary which discussed the potential legal and legislative ramifications of Janus v AFSCME.
Also present on the panel were Charlotte Garden, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law; Judith Rivlin, General Counsel for AFSCME, and John H. Gross, Partner at Ingerman Smith.
The conference was cosponsored by Cornell University’s ILR School and Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution. Here, Ariel Avgar, Associate Professor at the ILR School, speaks.
Harry Katz, Jack Sheinkman Professor and Director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, delivered the keynote address on the first day of the conference.
Participants could choose from 17 break-out sessions by practitioners and scholars covering a variety of legal, historical, and conciliation topics.
Dan McCray, Director, Labor Relations, Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution presented at a break-out entitled “Has Workplace Dispute Resolution Gone Astray? Helping the Process Serve the Parties.” Also present on the panel were Arbitrator Tia Schneider Dennenburg and Arbitrator and Mediator Marcia L. Greenbaum.
Risa L Lieberwitz (center), Professor of Labor and Employment Law at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, led a panel examining challenges to unionization efforts by faculty and graduate students at public colleges and universities.
Kevin Flanigan, PERB’s Director of Conciliation, led a panel exploring new approaches to negotiations under the Taylor Law.
Also present on the panel were Mark Pettit from Onondaga, Cortland, Madison BOCES and Co-Executive Director of MASLA; Will Streeter, CSEA (Retired), Syracuse; and Don Ryall, NYSUT, Vestal.
Among the topics for discussion were the origins of Facilitated Intensive Negotiations, an alternative negotiations process offered on an experimental and limited basis by PERB.
Chair of the New York City Office of Collective Bargaining Susan Panepento led a panel discussing how the ability to communicate to a large audience instantaneously, coupled with widespread attacks on public sector employees and government, have presented unique challenges to practitioners addressing issues of “traditional” labor relations.
Joining Ms. Panepento on the panel were Susan Davis, Partner at Cohen, Weiss & Simon; Neil Abramson, Partner at Proskauer Rose; Catherine Creighton, Partner at Creighton, Johnson & Giroux; and Matthew C. Van Vessem, Partner at Goldberg Segalla.
Jay Worona from the New York State School Boards Association, Lena M. Ackerman from NYSUT’s Office of General Counsel, and Lee Adler from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations discussed arbitration rationales under 3020-a.
PERB’s General Counsel David Quinn led a session on injunctive relief with PEF’s General Counsel Ed Aluck and GOER’s Associate Counsel Amy Petragnani.
Former PERB Executive Director Anthony Zumbolo, Former PERB Director of Conciliation Richard A. Curreri, and Human Resources Consultant Matthew W. Burr analyzed trends in the number of impasses and strikes over time.
The conference was also cosponsored by the New York State Bar Association, and participants could earn a maximum of 9.5 CLE credits.
A panel discussion with the current and former PERB Chairs, discussing their time at PERB—from left to right, John F. Wirenius, Pauline R. Kinsella, Michael R. Cuevas, William A. Herbert (representing the late Jerome Lefkowitz), and Seth H. Agata.
PERB staff, current and former.
The first day concluded with a cocktail reception and dinner at the Desmond.
The second day included a plenary session on the Taylor Law and Impasse Procedure: Creative Resolution Despite Protraction, more break-out sessions, and a concluding keynote address by Cynthia Estlund from New York University.