Borough of Carteret v. Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Ass’n, Local 67

In this case, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether an arbitrator’s interpretation of a labor agreement was “reasonably debatable” and should have been upheld on appeal. In 2011, the Borough of Carteret and the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 67 (FMBA) executed a collectively negotiated agreement (CNA) governing the terms and conditions of employment for the Borough’s firefighters. In 2017, the FMBA filed a grievance alleging that the Borough’s failure to pay lieutenants at the rate of an acting captain when a lieutenant assumed a captain’s responsibilities violated the CNA. The arbitrator sided with the FMBA. The Chancery Division upheld the award, but the Appellate Division reversed. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the arbitrator’s decision. The Court ruled that the Appellate Division incorrectly substituted its own judgment and did not afford proper deference to the arbitrator’s interpretation of the CNA.

Borough-of-Carteret