OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 63

AN ACT CONCERNING TIMELINES FOR ARBITRATION AWARDS.

SUMMARY:

This bill ensures that an arbitrator in a municipal interest arbitration proceeding can begin deciding the case no later than 180 days after the arbitration process began. It does so by (1) requiring the municipality and the union representing the municipal employee group to file their last best offers and briefs on unresolved issues (steps which occur after testimony is taken, but before a decision is issued) before that 180-day deadline and (2) prohibiting them from modifying, deferring or waiving the deadline. Although current law specifies numerous deadlines in the arbitration process, it allows the parties to mutually modify, defer, or waive any of them, including the deadline to file the last best offers and briefs on unresolved issues, indefinitely. Under the bill, the parties can still mutually waive or postpone deadlines for steps in the process, but not beyond the 180-day period.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014

BACKGROUND

Municipal Interest Arbitration

When a municipal employees' union and the municipality cannot agree to the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, the law requires them to undergo binding arbitration to determine the contested issues and prohibits the employees from striking. This “interest” arbitration differs from “grievance” arbitration, which is generally used to arbitrate employee complaints over how an existing collective bargaining agreement is being applied or interpreted by an employer.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

10

Nay

1

(03/04/2014)