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2000

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Presidential Address: Contract Reading Revisited, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2000

Presidential Address: Contract Reading Revisited, Theodore J. St. Antoine

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A quarter century ago, in a presentation at the Academy’s annual meeting, I used the phrase “contract reader” to characterize the role an arbitrator plays in construing a collective bargaining agreement. That two-word phrase may be the only thing I ever said before this body which has been remembered. Unfortunately, it is almost invariably misunderstood. Time and again members have reproached me: “What’s the big deal about contract reading, anyway? Isn’t it just the same as contract interpretation?” Or, more substantively scathing: “Do you really think, Ted, that all you have to do to interpret a labor agreement is to …