Associate Professor of Economics, Queens College, New York. Professor Bain's previous article in The Arbitration Journal was a 1968 study of bargaining and dispute settlement in the flat glass industry.
The importance of avoiding public employee strikes has occupied a considerable portion of the recent literature and an increased role for third-parties has been advocated.^ The use of third-parties raises the important question of financial accountability. In education, school boards must consider the effects of a prospective wage settlement on the fiscal position of the community. Direct negotiations closely associate the school board's actions with the community which has elected it. Third-parties, however, are not directly responsible to the community and their primary task is to effect a settlement. I suggest a brief test of the economic consequences to a community of the use of third-parties by an examination of salary settlements in public education in Michigan, during the school years 1966-1968, to determine whether salary settlements which have involved third-parties are different from salaries arrived at either through direct negotiations or unilateral action by school boards.