Assistant Professor of Management Sciences, California State College, Hayward, California. Professor Staudohar expresses his indebtedness to Dr. Spencer D. Pollard, Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California for "helpful suggestions" made as Chairman of the Dissertation Committee as USC.
Voluntary arbitration involves joint agreement between the employer and the employee organization to submit specific issues to some third party for a binding final decision. Unlike mediation and fact-finding, arbitration is more than an interim step in the collective bargaining process, but rather serves as a means of final adjudication of disputes. Voluntary arbitration can be used to settle a broad range of labor disputes such as those arising over unit determinations and elections, contract negotiations, contract application and interpretation, and even for settling strikes.
There is much that can be learned about arbitration in public employment from analysis of the procedure in the private sector where it is widely used and accepted as an unusually successful means of settling disputes. Over 90 percent of the collective bargaining agreements in private employment provide for binding arbitration.