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Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization v. Roxbury Medical Group

argued: January 24, 1989.

JERSEY NURSES ECONOMIC SECURITY ORGANIZATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROXBURY MEDICAL GROUP, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY, D.C. Civil No. 88-2577.

Gibbons, Chief Judge, Seitz and Greenberg, Circuit Judges.

Author: Gibbons

Opinion OF THE COURT

GIBBONS, Chief Judge:

Roxbury Medical Group, an employer, appeals from an order of the district court enforcing an arbitration award. The award was made in an arbitration conducted pursuant to an arbitration clause in a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization, a labor union. We conclude that the arbitration award does not draw its essence from the terms of the collective bargaining agreement because the arbitrator undertook interest arbitration when the agreement confined him to rights arbitration. Thus we will reverse the order enforcing the arbitration award.

The grievance and arbitration clause is in Article XIX of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In relevant part it provides:

A. A grievance shall be defined as a dispute or complaint arising out of the interpretation, application, performance or alleged breach of this agreement, or any claim to rights accrued during the term of this Agreement, except as expressly excluded from the provisions of this Article.

B. The Arbitrator shall have jurisdiction only over disputes arising out of a grievance, as defined in Section A, above, and shall have no power to add to, subtract from, or modify in any way the terms of this Agreement.

The Union filed a grievance, and a demand for arbitration, on the questions:

Whether the Employer violated Article VIII, A of the contract by determining the benefit categories based upon a calendar year (52 weeks) rather than based upon hours paid? If so, what shall the remedy be?

The provisions of the collective bargaining agreement which give rise to the grievance provide:

ARTICLE VIII - EMPLOYMENT STATUS

A. Employees covered by this Agreement shall be classified in the following categories based on their ...


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