On October 26, 2012, AFSCME, Local 1752-A (Marinette County Professional Employees) filed a motion in Marinette County Circuit Court to confirm the Arbitrator Lauri A. Millot’s August 10, 2012 arbitration award in the Union’s favor. The Arbitrator’s Award, issued following receipt of evidence and consideration of extensive argument by the parties, extended for an additional year the terms and conditions of the 2009-2011 collective bargaining agreement between the Union and Marinette County. Marinette County filed a competing motion seeking to vacate the Award, arguing that the Arbitrator had exceeded her authority in extending the parties’ agreement. The Circuit Court confirmed the Award, concluding that the Arbitrator properly ruled on the issues presented by the parties, and that her Award was based on a reasonable foundation consistent with the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.
Marinette County appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. On February 11, 2014, the Court of Appeals concluded that the Arbitrator’s interpretation of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement was reasonable, and her award properly extended the terms of that agreement by one year. The Court of Appeals also rejected the County’s claim that the Arbitrator had exceeded her authority by manifestly disregarding the law in fashioning the Award.
Union leaders estimate that the Court’s decision preserved well in excess of $100,000.00 in retirement benefits for its members, which the County sought to escape paying by its multiple appeals of the Arbitrator’s Award.
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