Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 v. Municipality of Anchorage

[EMPLOYMENT LAW]

In Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 v. Municipality of Anchorage,[1] the supreme court held that the Anchorage Municipal Code (“AMC”) limits the equitable jurisdiction of courts with respect to collective bargaining disputes.[2] The Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 (“Union”) and the Municipality of Anchorage (“Anchorage”) were engaged in collective bargaining negotiations for over a year.[3] Unable to reach an agreement on all key points, the Union and Anchorage submitted Last Best Offers (“LBO”) to an arbitrator as required by the AMC.[4] The arbitrator adopted the Union’s LBO, but, subsequently, the Anchorage Assembly failed to approve the decision.[5] The Union voted to strike but in the interest of public health and safety forewent executing that action for the time being.[6] On appeal, the Union argued that the arbitrator’s decision should be implemented in return for issuing an injunction against a strike pursuant to the court’s equitable jurisdiction.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, even acting in equity, a court cannot disregard statutes that “plain and fully” cover a situation.[8] Thus, according to the court, the court’s equitable power to grant relief that must be found within the AMC’s comprehensive scheme regulating impasses such as here was absent.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that the AMC limits the equitable jurisdiction of courts with respect to collective bargaining disputes.[10]

 

 



[1] 298 P.3d 195 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 196.

[3] Id. at 197.

[4] Id. at 197–98.

[5] Id. at 197.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 196

[8] Id. at 201.

[9] Id. at 202–03.

[10] Id. at 196.

Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 v. Municipality of Anchorage

[EMPLOYMENT LAW]

In Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 v. Municipality of Anchorage,[1] the supreme court held that the Anchorage Municipal Code (“AMC”) limits the equitable jurisdiction of courts with respect to collective bargaining disputes.[2] The Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local 367 (“Union”) and the Municipality of Anchorage (“Anchorage”) were engaged in collective bargaining negotiations for over a year.[3] Unable to reach an agreement on all key points, the Union and Anchorage submitted Last Best Offers (“LBO”) to an arbitrator as required by the AMC.[4] The arbitrator adopted the Union’s LBO, but, subsequently, the Anchorage Assembly failed to approve the decision.[5] The Union voted to strike but in the interest of public health and safety forewent executing that action for the time being.[6] On appeal, the Union argued that the arbitrator’s decision should be implemented in return for issuing an injunction against a strike pursuant to the court’s equitable jurisdiction.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, even acting in equity, a court cannot disregard statutes that “plain and fully” cover a situation.[8] Thus, according to the court, the court’s equitable power to grant relief that must be found within the AMC’s comprehensive scheme regulating impasses such as here was absent.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that the AMC limits the equitable jurisdiction of courts with respect to collective bargaining disputes.[10]

 

 



[1] 298 P.3d 195 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 196.

[3] Id. at 197.

[4] Id. at 197–98.

[5] Id. at 197.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 196

[8] Id. at 201.

[9] Id. at 202–03.

[10] Id. at 196.