Apart from negotiations, arbitrations and unfair labor practice (ULP) charges represent the other primary challenges a district faces regarding employee relations. While arbitrations and ULPs are distinct proceedings, each can have tremendous implications on how a district administers its personnel and costs. Therefore, a district should carefully consider each and every grievance or allegation and how best to respond. Since both grievances and ULP charges can be decided by a third party, such as an arbitrator or the State Employee Relations Board (SERB), assistance from trained professionals is highly recommended.
OSBA provides, as part of its labor relations services, arbitration and SERB representation. This flat fee service covers the entire hearing representation process from preparation time (meetings with administrators, witness preparation, evidence gathering and review and document drafting) to time spent at the hearing to drafting and submitting closing briefs. The only additional costs to the district are driving time and mileage reimbursement, which is at the IRS rate.
As a membership service, OSBA's Division of Management Services maintains an arbitrator referral service. If a district has a grievance proceeding to arbitration, the district can send us a list of the arbitrators and we will provide any feedback we've received on the arbitrators' prior decisions. Turnaround time is within a day or two, and by taking advantage of this service, districts can receive insight into the arbitrator's past decisions. While this service is free, we ask that you forward a copy of the arbitrator's decision, good or bad, so that we may keep our files current.
For further information, contact Van D. Keating at (614) 540-4000.