Public Sector Arbitration - Chapter 10 - Fundamentals of Labor Arbitration
Rocco M. Scanza and Jay E. Grenig both serve on the American Arbitration Association's labor panel.
Rocco M. Scanza is an attorney, arbitrator and mediator of labor and employment disputes. He is also the executive director of Cornell University's Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, where he teaches courses in workplace alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Scanza was formerly a national vice president at the American Arbitration Association. He graduated from Queens College in New York City and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He lives and works in Ithaca, N.Y.
Jay E. Grenig is a professor of law at Marquette University Law School. He has served as an arbitrator or mediator in over 2,000 labor and employment disputes. A member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the American Law Institute, and the Order of the Coif, Mr. Grenig is also a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He formerly chaired the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools and served as a consultant to the National Commission on Employment Policy. He has written or co-written numerous books and articles.
Originally from Fundamentals of Labor Arbitration
In contrast to the private sector, where most labor-management issues are determined by the union and the employer, the relationship between public employees and government employers is governed, to a large extent, by state and federal statutes. Many statutes limit the scope of public sector collective bargaining. Courts have also restricted the range of subjects that are negotiable by union and government representatives on the ground that certain subjects be addressed through an open political process rather than behind closed doors. Many statutes also limit or prohibit strikes by certain types of public employees. In addition, statutes often provide the mechanism to be used for resolving employee grievances.
10:02 ROLE OF THE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Even the most comprehensive collective bargaining contract negotiated by representatives of a government employer and a union cannot anticipate every problem that may arise—e.g., disciplinary problems, changes in operation, and new demands by the public. The grievance procedure, which must comply with any statutory or regulatory requirements, provides the parties with a format for resolving such questions.
The first-line supervisor usually holds the key to a successful grievance procedure. Most labor grievances can be resolved between the worker and the supervisor at the first step of that procedure. If the first-line supervisor cannot resolve the problem, the chances of a healthy employee-employer relationship are slim indeed. However, in public employment, it may be difficult to persuade supervisors to become totally committed to management’s position. Supervisors are themselves often unionized, and they may not be conditioned to think of themselves as management.
It is vital that government employers train their first line supervisors to represent the employer’s interests.
10:02 Role of the Grievance Procedure
10:03 Arbitrability Issues
10:04 Interest Arbitration
10:05 Fact Finding
10:06 Arbitration in the Federal Service
10:07 Constitutional Issues
10:08 Publication of Labor Awards