As of September 2017, Steven Schwartz merged his firm, Steven H. Schwartz & Associates, P.L.C. with Keller Thoma, P.C. and became a partner in that firm.  Mr. Schwartz continues his practice as an employment and labor relations attorney, and as an arbitrator.  For further information, please go to the Keller Thoma website.

Award for Retroactive Grievance Arbitration

Court of Appeals rules on retroactive grievance arbitration

The Court of Appeals ruled that an Act 312 arbitration panel may issue an Award for retroactive grievance arbitration.

In Ottawa County v Police Officers Association of Michigan (“POAM”), the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that an Act 312 Arbitration Panel’s adoption of the POAM’s proposal for retroactive grievance arbitration is not counter to the statute. 281 Mich App 688 (2008). The County, relying on the Court’s prior precedent, argued that Act 312 does not permit an award of non-economic benefits retroactively. The statute, in part, states, “Increases in rates of compensation or other benefits may be awarded retroactively to the commencement of any period(s) in dispute, any other statute or charter provisions to the contrary notwithstanding.”

The Court ruled that grievance arbitration was such an “other benefit” as described in the statute. The Court refused to read a requirement that retroactive benefits be only economic, and found that the right to grievance arbitration is clearly a benefit to the bargaining unit members.