Fact-Finding: How to Prepare and What They are Finding

Report
Fact-Finding:
How to Prepare
and
What They are Finding
By: Michelle Miller-Kotula
[email protected]
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON
FACT-FINDING
What are the Commonwealth laws
administered and enforced by the
PLRB concerning labor-management
relations?
(1) PA Labor Relations Act
(2) Public Employe Relations Act (PERA)
(3) Act 111 of 1968
(4) Act 88 of 1992
What is Fact Finding?
• A dispute resolution mechanism under which
opposing parties submit their “best and final”
offers to a third-party reviewer.
• Hearing is conducted & Report is issued
• Report is accepted – basis of contract
• Report is rejected – continue negotiating
How do the parties end up in Fact
Finding?
• Collective bargaining impasse
• A request for Fact-Finding was made
• Mediation process commenced
• Role of State Mediator
• Exceptions to requesting Fact-Finding
– During mandated final best offer arbitration.
– Cannot occur between notice of strike and the
conclusion of the strike
What is the Fact Finding procedure?
• PLRB appoints Fact-Finders
• 40 day period to issue report
• 10 days to vote to accept or reject
recommendations
– Accepted - basis for the contract.
– Rejected, the report is published on the PLRB’s
website, other mechanisms “kick in”
• Parties must vote again within 5 to 10 day period to
accept or reject
Who are the Fact-Finders?
• Full time neutrals
• Knowledgeable in the school related fields
with budget, finance, education programs,
taxation
• Experience in similar processes
How are Fact-Finders are selected?
• PLRB makes appointments
• PLRB meets designated times during the year
Who pays for fact-finding?
• Parties split fee
Why is Fact Finding important?
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A valuable tool to resolve the impasse.
Provides different expertise
Neutral person assigned
Value of Report
What happens when Fact-Finding
fails?
• Proceed to next steps
• Must work to settle dispute
II. HOW TO PREPARE FOR FACTFINDING
What items are important for FactFinders to consider?
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Testimony and evidence provided during hearing
Executive session discussions
Expired CBA
Comparisons
Interest, welfare of taxpayers, ability to District to finance proposals
Each issue is reviewed on individual merit and how it fits into Agreement
Changes in the Cost of Living
Results of negotiations between parties
Other labor agreements in the District
Stipulations made by the parties
Overall consideration of the economy
Increasing benefit Costs
Uncertainty of the impact of certain costs (PSERS, State Aid, etc.)
How should the parties prepare for the
Fact-Finding process?
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Begin process immediately
40 day time limit
Schedule Fact-Finding hearing sooner than later
Prepare statement of positions within 5 days
Set up meeting with Fact-Finder, share information
Include personnel who are decision makers and committed to the
process
Executive session discussions critical to process
Be open to the process
Consider suggestions of Fact-Finders
Fact-Finding report
• Framework for resolution
• Advantage to next step in the process
• Must evaluate the entire package
Fact Finding Hearing tips:
• Schedule hearing early in process
• Meeting location
• Include personnel on team that are committed to resolving the
process.
• Who should Fact-Finder address?
• Ask for clarifications during presentation
• Be courteous and cooperative
• Present relevant information in a timely manner
• Be realistic and open to the process
• Be willing to share burden & solutions
• Agreement to resolve disputed items
• Evaluate the entire report
• Have a meaningful intent to settle.
III. WHAT ARE FACT-FINDERS
FINDING?
What are trends Fact-Finders are
finding?
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Difficult times
Wages
Length of CBA
Retroactivity
Health Care
Retirement packages
Internal comparisons important.
PSERS concerns
Low cost or no cost items
Tentative agreements
Costly to drag out negotiations
Parties want to settle
FACT- FINDING STATISTICS - 2011
No. of
requests
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
4
1
7
1
2
2
3
6
1
Employer
rejects/unio
n accepts
3
Employer
accepts/unio
n rejects
Both accept
Both reject
Settled
1
1
3
2
1
1
1
3
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
2
FACT- FINDING STATISTICS - 2012
No. of
requests
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2
6
11
2
3
3
3
1
1
3
2
Employer
rejects/unio
n accepts
Employer
accepts/uni
on rejects
Both accept
Both reject
Settled
1
2
2
1
1
1
2
1
2
3
3
2
2
4
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

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