COMPULSORY ARBITRATION AND THE ARBITRATOR - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 25, No. 4
Associate Professor of Management, Temple University. Professor Loewenberg is the author of Collective Bargaining in Public Employment (Random House, 1970), and of articles on the same subject published in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the Labor Law Journal, and the Monthly Labor Review.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Arbitration in collective bargaining has become institutionalized to the point where it is generally understood and accepted by all involved. Occasional differences about the scope of the arbitrator's authority and the validity of his decision have not marred satisfaction with the process. The development of arbitration has been based on several conditions:
1. Arbitration is a voluntary process; 2. Arbitration deals with differences in the administration of the agreement which the parties have negotiated; 3. Arbitration involves settlement of a dispute by a person chosen by the parties who hears evidence and makes a decision; 4. The arbitration decision is based on the facts in the particular case at hand and is not bound by prior decisions nor influenced by pending cases.
Arbitrators as well as union and management representatives have understood and operated under these conditions.
Recent developments indicate increasing absence of these conditions. The concept of compulsory arbitration of terms of agreements have been implemented in four states for impasses involving police and/or fire fighters: Michigan (1969), Pennsylvania (1968), Rhode Island (1968), and Wyoming (1965). It has also been proposed as a means for resolving national emergency disputes in the private sector and the regulated transportation industries. These developments suggest the process of arbitration as it has been practiced and accepted may need to change to meet new requirements.