KM Unit – ART. 27: Arbitration Procedure

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ARTICLE 27 – ARBITRATION PROCEDURE

A. Request for Arbitration

A request for arbitration may be made only by the Union and only after exhaustion of the Grievance Procedure. The written request for arbitration must be sent by certified mail or email and received by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources & Labor Relations or designee within thirty (30) calendar days of the date on which the Step 3 grievance decision was issued or due. Arbitration requests filed by email must be sent to laborrelations@ucmerced.edu. The ‘date of filing’ for arbitration requests shall be the date received on the University server, provided that the request is received during business hours. If a request is received outside of normal business hours, the first following business day will be deemed the filing date. The University shall provide an acknowledgement of the Union’s request for arbitration within (2) two business days.

Proof of service must accompany these mailings. An appeal to arbitration is considered filed on the date it is received in the Labor Relations Office.

B. Selection of Arbitrators

Within fourteen (14) calendar days of a request for arbitration, the parties shall meet and attempt to reach agreement on an arbitrator. If no agreement is reached, the parties shall use the arbitrators listed herein by randomly drawing three names. The first arbitrator’s name drawn shall be contacted and if the arbitrator’s first available date is more than ninety (90) calendar days from the date of the request, the parties may agree to contact the second arbitrator’s name drawn. If the second arbitrator’s first available date is more than ninety (90) calendar days from the date of request, the parties may agree to contact the third arbitrator. If the third arbitrator is not available as specified above, the selection process shall be repeated until an arbitrator is selected. The arbitrator will be selected from the following:

1. Ms. Bonnie Bogue

2. Mr. Alexander Cohn

3. Mr. John Kagel

4. Mr. Robin Matt

5. Mr. Ken Perea

6. Mr. Michael Prihar

7. Mr. Franklin Silver

8. Mr. Barry Winograd

If an arbitrator on this list declines to take cases in this area, the parties will agree on a replacement.

C. Arbitration Procedure

1. The arbitration procedure shall provide an opportunity for the Union and the University to examine and cross-examine witnesses under oath and to submit relevant evidence. Relevant material and the names of all witnesses who are to be called shall be identified and provided to the opposing party prior to the hearing.

To the extent possible, witnesses and material should be identified at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing.

2. The arbitrator may not admit settlement offers as evidence at the arbitration hearing.

3. Prior to the arbitration, the Union and the University shall attempt to stipulate as to the issue(s) to be arbitrated and to as many facts as possible.

4. Settlement proposals may be offered at any stage prior to or during arbitration.

5. The arbitration hearing shall be closed to the public unless the parties otherwise agree.

6. The arbitrator, following the close of the record of the hearing, shall consider the evidence presented andnrender a written decision. The written decision shall include a brief description of each issue under submission, the position of the parties, the findings of fact, the arbitrator’s conclusion(s) as to violation of the Agreement, if any, and, where appropriate, a remedy.

7. The arbitrator shall be limited to interpreting the written provisions of the Agreement regarding the issues submitted and shall have no power to add to, delete from, or otherwise alter the terms of the Agreement.If the arbitrator determines that a grievance was not received by the University within the time limits set forth in Article 26, Section B, the arbitrator shall have no jurisdiction to decide the merits of the grievance. The arbitrator shall have no jurisdiction to decide issues not specifically identified on the initial grievance form.

8. The arbitrator’s fees shall be borne equally by the parties. Expenses for stenographic or other services or facilities shall be borne by the party requesting such services or facilities unless the parties agree otherwise in advance.

D. Decision and Remedy

1. If the grievance is sustained in whole or in part, and subject to the limitations set forth in Paragraph 2 below, the remedy shall not exceed restoring to the employee the pay, benefits, or rights lost as a result of a violation of the Agreement, less any compensation and benefits received from any source, including, but not limited to, Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance benefits. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding and distributed to the parties within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the record of the hearing, unless the arbitrator notifies the parties that the time frame cannot be met.

2. The arbitrator shall have no authority to award back wages or other monetary reimbursement, nor shall the University be liable on a grievance claiming back wages or other monetary reimbursement for:

a. Any period of time during which an extension of time limits has been granted by the University at the request of the Union; or,

b. Any period of time between the date a hearing was originally scheduled to be held, and due to a request from the Union to postpone or change the scheduled hearing, the rescheduled date of the hearing; or

c. Any period of time greater than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the date of the Informal Review, Step 1 of the Grievance Procedure, except for the correction of mathematical, calculation, recording or accounting errors. For grievances involving the correction of an error in the payment of wages or the correction of mathematical calculations, recording or accounting errors relating to the payment of wages (for example vacation leave, holidays, overtime, military leave or the amount of shift differentials, if any) shall not be made retroactive to a date earlier than two years prior to the date of the Informal Review, Step 1 of the Grievance Procedure.

E. Release Time and Pay Status

Whenever an arbitration hearing or a meeting convened to resolve an arbitration is scheduled during the regular work time of an employee who is a grievant or a representative, release time with pay shall be granted to the employee(s) and his/her representative involved in said hearing or meeting so long as a request to the employee’s immediate supervisor for release time is received at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance. Employees so released shall be granted leave with pay. For purposes of release time, it shall be assumed the employee is a day shift employee. University employees called as witnesses shall be released from work with reasonable advance request and granted leave with pay for reasonable time spent in meetings convened to resolve the arbitration and for the arbitration hearing. Time spent in preparation for arbitration shall be on pay status as follows:

a. A maximum of ten (10) hours per month will be granted for arbitration-related activity; and,

b. A request for the release time described in subsection (a) above must be made to the grievant’s and/or the representative’s immediate supervisor at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the activity.