Charles R. Greer is associate professor of management and D. Scott Sink is associate professor of industrial engineering and management at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Jack Fiorito, John C. Shearer, Mary Anne Dorland, and the Oklahoma labor relations practitioners who provided data for this analysis. An earlier version of this article was presented at the American Institute for Decision Sciences in San Francisco in November 1982.
Oklahoma's unique interest arbitration procedure, which may be invoked by either party following an impasse in negotiations, allows municipalities to reject the arbitrator's award while the unions have no such option. The state's experience with this procedure was evaluated over a ten-year period through an analysis of impasse settlement activity and the parties' perceptions of the procedure. Unions were found, not surprisingly to perceive the procedure as inequitable.
As the experience with conventional compulsory interest arbitration indicates, there has been greater use of the procedure over the years by fire fighters, although the trend for police is less clear. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of instances in which cities have exercised their option of rejecting at least part of the arbitration award to the point where such options are exercised in a substantial proportion of cases.