How does Arbitration Work?

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the “arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), by whose decision (the “award”) they agree to be bound. It is a settlement technique in which a third party reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides.

There isn’t 1 Arbitor.  City Charter stated an Arbitration Board is created of 3 Arbiters.  The 3 Arbiters are formed from both parties involved and 1 neutral party.  That means 1 person from the City, 1 person from the Union, and 1 Neutral Arbiter as the Chairperson (Usually an attorney).

California Code of Civil Procedure 1299.4.

(a) If an impasse has been declared after the parties have exhausted their mutual efforts to reach agreement over matters within the scope of arbitration, and the parties are unable to agree to the appointment of a mediator, or if a mediator agreed to by the parties is unable to affect settlement of a dispute between the parties after his or her appointment, the employee organization may, by written notification to the employer, request that their differences be submitted to an arbitration panel.
(b) Within three days after receipt of the written notification, each party shall designate a person to serve as its member of an arbitration panel. Within five days thereafter, or within additional periods to which they mutually agree, the two members of the arbitration panel appointed by the parties shall designate an impartial person with experience in labor and management dispute resolution to act as chairperson of the arbitration panel.

San Francisco Charter has legislation A8.590-5 IMPASSE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

(a) Subject to Section A8.590-5(g), disputes or controversies pertaining to wages, hours, benefits or terms and conditions of employment which remain unresolved after good faith negotiations between the City and County of San Francisco, its departments, boards and commissions and a recognized employee organization representing Firefighters, Police Officers or Deputy Sheriffs shall be submitted to a three-member Board of Arbitrators (3 People on the Board, 1 Person from the City, 1 Person from the Union, 1 Neutral Party) upon the declaration of an impasse either by the authorized representative of the City and County of San Francisco or by the
recognized employee organization involved in the dispute.

Section (c) states that arbitration hearing is public and transcribed.

(c) Any arbitration proceeding convened pursuant to this article shall be conducted in conformance with, subject to, and governed by Title 9 of Part 3 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. The Arbitration Board (3 People on the Board, one of which is from the Union) shall hold public hearings, receive evidence from the parties and cause a transcript of the proceedings to be prepared. The Arbitration Board, in the exercise of its discretion, may meet privately with the parties, mediate or arbitrate the issues in dispute. The Arbitration Board may also adopt such other procedures that are designed to encourage an agreement between the parties, expedite the arbitration hearing process, or reduce the costs of the arbitration process.

Section (d) Arbitration Board Majority Vote (3 People on the Board, one of which is from the Union

(d) In the event no agreement is reached prior to the conclusion of the arbitration hearings, the Arbitration Board shall direct each of the parties to submit, within such time limit as the Arbitration Board may establish, a last offer of settlement on each of the remaining issues in dispute. The Arbitration Board shall decide each issue by majority vote by selecting whichever last offer of settlement on that issue it finds most nearly conforms to those factors traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours, benefits and terms and conditions of public and private employment, including, but not limited to: changes in the average consumer price index for goods and services; the wages, hours, benefits and terms and conditions of employment of employees performing similar services; the wages, hours, benefits and terms and conditions of other employees in the City and County of San Francisco; and the formulas provided for in this Charter for the establishment and maintenance of wages, hours, benefits and terms and conditions of employment. The impartial Arbitration Board shall also consider the financial condition of the City and County of San Francisco and its ability to meet the costs of the decision of the Arbitration Board.

Section (e) Publicly disclosed

(e) After reaching a decision, the Arbitration Board shall mail or otherwise deliver a true copy of its decision to the parties. The decision of the Arbitration Board shall not be publicly disclosed and shall not be binding until ten (10) days after it is delivered to the parties. During that ten (10) day period the parties shall meet privately, attempt to resolve their differences, and by mutual agreement amend or modify the decision of the Arbitration Board. At the conclusion of the ten (10) day period, which may be extended by mutual agreement between the parties, the decision of the Arbitration Board (3 People on the Board, one of which is from the Union,), as it may be modified or amended by the parties, shall be publicly disclosed.

I hope this helps you understand the City of San Francisco Public Safety arbitration process and if anyone tells you or refers to 1 Arbiter being the decider is wrong.

In closing, I would like to say I am a person with experience, a person you can depend on, a person that will voice the concerns of and represent each and everyone one of you, a person that will put in 110% is the type of person you need in serving as your DSA President.

I would be honored if you would vote for me as your President.

Best regards,

Ken Lomba

See all of my 25 years of law enforcement experience here.

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