Twelve employees at the Biondi Elementary School in the Bronx, NY and at the Biondi Middle and High School in Yonkers, NY, who were laid off during bargaining for an initial collective-bargaining agreement, have received backpay and immediate offers of reinstatement as part of a settlement agreement reached on April 14, 2014.
The employees were laid off by Leake and Watts Services (the Employer), a non-profit agency in New York that provides special education at the Biondi Schools, among other places. On March 28, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board directed NLRB Region 2 –Manhattan to seek an order in Federal court requiring the Employer to reinstate the laid off employees, to rescind unilateral changes that had been made to the employees’ health insurance, to provide requested information to the Union, and to bargain in good faith with the Union. This temporary injunctive relief was sought to protect the right of the employees to have their chosen bargaining representative, Workers Essential at Leake and Watts, New York State United Teachers, AFT (the Union), to advocate on their behalf in collective bargaining and to prevent erosion of support for the Union due to the Employer’s alleged unlawful activities.
On April 14, 2014, before the petition for injunctive relief was filed in Federal court, Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito approved a global settlement agreement. While not admitting liability, the Employer agreed to offer reinstatement to the laid off employees, to provide them with backpay, to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by bargaining unit employees as a result of the unilateral changes to the employees’ health insurance, and to bargain in good faith with the Union. The Employer also agreed to post an e-mail a notice that addressed the alleged violations and advised employees of their rights under National Labor Relations Act.