What are the arbitration proceedings for union members?

As previously discussed, being part of a union can have a wide variety of benefits. Union members in New York and other states are able to collectively bargain, helping them make improvements in work conditions, receive better pay and even further protect their employee rights. While many things can be accomplished through union membership, various disputes and labor law issues are experienced. Thus, certain measures must be taken to resolve these matters.

When employee or labor law issues occur, this requires for collective bargaining agreements and negotiated grievance procedures to take place. While these steps help an employee, union or agency to resolve their matters, this does not always result in a resolution. Therefore, the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute provides for a binding arbitration if the negotiated grievance procedures do not resolve the matter.

What are the arbitration proceedings for union members? Typically, only an agency or a union is able to invoke the arbitration process. Individual employees are unable to initiate the process. Once the arbitration process is finished and an arbitrator has issued an award, either an agency or a union has the right to appeal the arbitrator's award. This appeal is filed to the Federal Labor Relations Authority and will be heard by a three-member adjudicatory body.

An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the award, and after the authority issues a decision of this appeal of an arbitrator's award, this decision becomes final and binding. If a party refuses to comply with this award, this could be deemed an unfair labor practice and could result in a party filing to enforce the arbitrator's award. Additionally, that party could file a ULP charge with the FLRA.

Resolving disputes or unresolved matters can be complex for union matters. However, there are mechanisms set in place to promote resolutions; thus, it is important to understand what these measures are and how they could impact union members.

Source: Flra.gov, "Arbitration," accessed May 28, 2017

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