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Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


SC20803 - Stiegler v. Meriden ("The plaintiffs are three firefighters who retired during ongoing contract negotiations between their municipal employer and their union regarding a wage reopener to their collective bargaining agreement. After the effective dates of their retirements, an arbitration panel issued an interest arbitration award pursuant to the provisions of General Statutes § 7-473c of the Municipal Employee Relations Act, General Statutes § 7-460 et seq., granting all firefighters in that municipality a retroactive wage increase. The plaintiffs filed a breach of contract action, alleging, among other things, that they were entitled to a recalculation of their pension benefits to reflect the retroactive wage increase. The trial court agreed with the plaintiffs and rendered judgment in their favor on the breach of contract claims. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and, on the merits, that the trial court had incorrectly concluded that the plaintiffs were entitled to a recalculation of their pension benefits. We conclude that the trial court properly exercised jurisdiction but erroneously determined that the plaintiffs are entitled to receive a retroactive increase in their pension benefits and, therefore, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")