The Politics of Interest Arbitration - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 33, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
An amendment to Section 209 of the New York State Public Employees Fair Employment Act (commonly known as the Taylor Law) extending compulsory interest arbitration for police officers and firefighters until July 1, 1979, was signed into law by Governor Hugh Carey on June 7, 1977.
The amendment eliminated fact-finding; required a record of the bearing, if requested by the parties; and stipulated that the arbitration panel consider statutory criteria and specify the basis for its findings in interest arbitration cases. Judicial review of the award was also provided for in the amendment.
Three years before the passage of the amendment. Dr. Thomas A. Kochan of the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University began a study, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, to evaluate the relative merits of fact-finding and arbitration as dispute settlement techniques. The conclusions and recommendations of that study were presented to policy makers and union and management officials in New York State in December 1970 at a symposium organized by the New York State Public Employment Relations Board.
In the following months, the study became the focal point for debate among police and firefighter unions, public officials, and neutral groups over the pending legislation. Several parties relied on the report in an attempt to influence the final form of the amendment.
The following is an account of the events leading up to the passage of the legislation, in which the research study played a central role. The author describes the positions of the unions and such organizations as the New York Conference of Mayors and the New York State Public Employer Labor Relations Association, as well as of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board and the governor, in the debate.
This article is part of a larger study, "Dispute Resolution under Fact-finding and Arbitration: An Empirical Evaluation," to be published by the American Arbitration Association in 1978.