NY top court to hear 'take-home' cars case

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ALBANY -- New York's top court will hear arguments in a case pitting the Town of Islip against a local union over the availability of "take-home" cars for employees.

The Court of Appeals Thursday granted permission for Islip to present oral arguments in the case. Court spokesman Gary Spencer said the case likely will be heard in mid-2014.

At issue is Islip's long-running effort to cut costs by limiting the number of town-assigned vehicles to employees. Town officials argued that the issue wasn't subject to collective bargaining with Local 237, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Public Service Employees Union, and unilaterally took away vehicles from about 45 union members, according to court documents.

The union won a complaint filed with the state Public Employment Relations Board, and a midlevel court upheld the decision in January. The Appellate Division ruled that state law bars an employer from discontinuing a "past practice" without prior negotiation with employees.

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