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Pocket Guide to Public Sector Arbitration: California

By Bonnie G. Bogue, Frank Silver and Katherine Thomson
4th edition, 2015

$27 each

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A readable yet comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about public sector arbitration, this edition is expanded, updated and more "user friendly" for both advocates and arbitrators.

Updated with the latest court decisions and statutes, the guide explains the procedures and principles that apply to both grievance arbitration and interest arbitration, including the standards that guide arbitrators in deciding cases. It also examines the courts' treatment of final and binding arbitration.

The fourth edition looks at arbitrators, themselves - their backgrounds, how they gain admission to rosters of arbitration agencies, constraints on their authority, and how parties make a selection. There is an expanded discussion of the history and legal development of arbitration, from its private sector origins in the 1940s through its California public sector acceptance since the 1960s. Included for convenient reference are the text of the California Arbitration Act, a list of the many court cases that are addressed in the text and in footnotes, and a bibliography of leading reference books.

About the Authors
      Bonnie Bogue, coauthor of all editions of this guide, began arbitrating in 1977. A member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 1991, she has served as vice president and on its board. She is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Formerly director of the CPER Program, she edited and contributed to CPER Journal from 1970 until 1994, and has coauthored other titles in CPER’s Pocket Guide Series, including Pocket Guide to Just Cause: Discipline and Discharge Arbitration.
      Frank Silver, coauthor of the first three editions of this guide, has been an arbitrator, mediator and factfinder since 1987. Prior to that, he was in private practice as a labor lawyer, and served as an administrative law judge with the Public Employment Relations Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
      Katherine Thomson, coauthor of this fourth edition, has been arbitrating, mediating, and factfinding since 1997, and a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 2007. She was cochair of CPER from 2010-13, and editor of CPER Journal from 2011-13. Prior to her neutral career, she was an attorney in private practice. She is coauthor of Pocket Guide to Just Cause: Discipline and Discharge Arbitration.

 

Contents

I. What Is Arbitration?1
    A. Origins of Labor Arbitration 1
    B. Who Are the Arbitrators? 2
    C. Origins of California Public Sector Arbitration4
    D. Types of Arbitration and Other Dispute Resolution Methods 6
            Grievance arbitration vs. interest arbitation and factfinding 6
            Grievance or rights arbitration 7
            Interest arbitration 7
            Factfinding 7
            Binding vs. advisory grievance arbitration 7
            Arbitration vs. mediation 8
                Arbitration 8
                Mediation 9
                Med-arb 9
                Employment arbitration 10
                References 10
II. Grievance Arbitration Procedures 11
    A. Types of Grievances 11
            Disciplinary grievances 11
            Contract interpretation grievances 11
            Group grievances 12
    B. Steps of the Grievance Procedure 12
    C. Processing the Grievance 13
            Filing the grievance 13
            Time limits 13
            Proceeding to arbitration 14
            Duty of fair representation 14
    D. Arbitrability: Procedural and Substantive 15
            Arbitrability determinations by arbitrators 15
            Procedural arbitrability issues 16
            Substantive arbitrability issues 17
    E. Costs of Arbitration 18
    F. Selecting an Arbitrator 19
            Finding an arbitrator 19
            Researching an arbitrator 20
            Disclosures and ethical obligations 20
    G . Setting the Arbitration Hearing 21
            Pre-hearing contact with arbitrator 21
            Date and location 22
            Cancellations and postponements 22
    H. Pre-Hearing Procedures 23
            Pre-hearing briefs 25
            Pre-hearing conference 25
    I. The Hearing 26
            Types of hearings 26
            Official record 26
            Order of the hearing 27
            Statement of the issue 27
Retention of jurisdiction over remedy 28
            Opening statements 29
            Burden of proof 29
            Quantum of proof 30
            Documentary evidence 30
            Witnesses 31
            Grievant as a witness 32
            Expert witness 32
            Absent witnesses 32
            Preparing witnesses 33
            Taking the oath 33
            Sequestration of witnesses 33
            Witness testimony 34
            Direct examination 35
            Cross-examination 36
    J. Rules of Evidence 37
            Objections 37
            Improper or non-responsive answers 38
            Relevance 38
            Direct and circumstantial evidence 39
            Hearsay 39
            Non-hearsay statements 41
            Opinions 41
            Privileged communications 42
            Attorney-client privilege 42
            Mediator privilege 43
            Offers of settlement 43
            Objections to form of question 43
    K. Closing Arguments and Briefs 46
            Oral closing arguments 46
            Post-hearing briefs 47
            Filing briefs 48
    L. The Award 48
            Issuing the award 49
            Finality of the award 49
    M. References 50
III. Grievance Arbitration Standards 52
    A. Discipline and Discharge Standards 52
            Just cause 53
            Procedural principles of just cause 53
                Due process 53
                Notice of rules 56
                Consistent rules 57
                Progressive discipline 57
                Past record and length of services 58
                Disparate or discriminatory treatment 59
            Substantive principles of just cause 60
                Off-duty conduct 60
                Obey now, grieve later rule 61
            Just cause and "external law" 62
                Arbitrators and external law 62
                The parties and external law 63
                Common external law issues 64
    B. Remedies in Discipline Cases 65
            Make-whole remedy 66
            Back pay and benefits 67
            Other remedies 68
            Retaining jurisdiction over the remedy 68
    C. Contract Interpretation Grievances 68
            Rules of contract interpretation 68
            Clear or ambiguous language 68
            Extrinsic evidence 71
            Negotiating history 71
            Past practice 72
            Settlements and arbitration awards 73
            Eternal law in contract interpretation 74
            Management rights 75
            Forfeiture 76
    D. Remedies in Contract Interpretation Cases 76
            Monetary remedies 77
            Attorney's fees 77
            Interest 78
            Equitable relief 78
    E. References 78
IV. PERB and Grievance Arbitration 80
    A. Deferral Principles 80
    B. Pre-Arbitration Deferral 81
    C. Post-Arbitration Deferral 84
    D. Equitable Tolling 85
    E. References 86
V. Courts and Grievance Arbitration 87
    A Introduction 87
    B. Petitions to Compel Arbitration 88
            General standards 88
            Grounds for compelling arbitration 89
            Waiver of the right to arbitrate 91
    C. Petitions to Confirm or Vacate Arbitration Awards 92
            General standards 92
            Public policy; protection of statutory rights 96
            Arbitrator's remedial authority 96
    D. Effect of Arbitration Provisions on Lawsuits 98
            Employer petitions to compel arbitration 98
            Preclusive effect of arbitration awards in litigation 99
    E. References 100
VI. Interest Arbitration and Factfinding 101
    A. Introduction 101
    B. Factfinding Procedures Administered by PERB 102
            Preliminary procedures under EERA and HEERA 103
            Preliminary procedures under MMBA and IHSSEERA 103
            Hearing procedures 104
            Post-hearing procedures 105
            Factfinder's report 105
    C. Impasse Resolution in Public Transit 106
    D. Impasse Resolution in Charter Cities and Counties 107
    E. Interest Arbitration 108
            Standard interest arbitration 108
            Final-offer interest arbitration 109
            Med-arb 109
            Tripartite arbitration 110
    F. Factfinding and Interest Arbitration Criteria 110
            Employer's ability to pay 111
            External salary and benefit comparisons 112
            Recruitment and retention 112
            Cost-of-living increases 113
            Past practice and negotiating history 113
    G. References 114
VII. Table of Cases 115
VIII. Bibliography 127
IX. Appendix 131
            California Arbitration Act 
X. Index 143