Golden Gate Dispute Resolution


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Schools Salary Formula Goes to Arbitration—Read the Award

I recently received permission from the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Education Association, the representative of the certificated staff, to publish a grievance arbitration award. The case concerned the interpretation of a complex salary formula negotiated by the parties in their collective bargaining agreement. To read the award, click here. - Paul

New Factfinding Report—A California Special District Dispute

I recently served as the neutral chairperson for a factfinding process at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District with the El Dorado County Employees Association. In the report, I sided with the employer's position on two issues and the union's position on one issue. However, the employer panel member concurred with the entire report. The report has now been made public, as per requirements in the Meyers Milias Brown Act, and is linked here. - Paul

Ten Grievance Arbitration Decisions Now Published on this Website

I recently added three decisions to my list of published grievance arbitration awards, bringing the total to ten. Each decision is listed with the grievance title and an indication of how the case came out for the parties. I have tried to include a mix of discipline and contract cases with varying outcomes. I routinely ask parties for permission to publish awards. Often, permission is not granted by one party or the other. I never publish without permission of both sides. And when I do publish, I take the extra step of redacting names of grievants and other employees from the award. This provides an additional level of privacy for those involved in arbitration proceedings, often not of their own choosing.

You can view the awards here.


Presentation About MMBA Factfinding at Bar Association Conference

On April 22, 2016, I was on a panel on factfinding in local government at a conference at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. The panel was part of the annual public sector conference of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California. Joining me on the panel were arbitrator Carol Vendrillo, labor-side  attorney Rob Szykowny, and management-side attorney Shelline Bennett. The panel moderator was Carol Koenig of Wylie, McBride, Platten & Renner. The panel title is The Evolving Law and Rules of Factfinding Under the MMBA. Here is a copy of the article I submitted for the panel, titled "Why Factfinding Needs Baseball." -  Paul

Factfinding Report Issued for City of Marina and MPSOA

I recently issued a factfinding report on the collective bargaining dispute between the City of Marina and the Marina Public Safety Officers Association. This was the first time in my experience that the parties have dispensed with a tripartite panel in this type of a dispute and designated me as the sole factfinder. The report is linked here. - Paul

Visiting with a Graduate seminar in Ghana

I had a once in a lifetime opportunity recently to speak to a class of graduate students in industrial relations and human resources at the University of Cape Coast in Cape Coast, Ghana. Here is a photo of me with the students, taken on March 3, 2016. Professor Nicodemus Osei-Uwusu is on the far right. - Paul IMG_1764

Recording of New Advocate Webinar Available from AAA

In October 2015, Arbitrator Catherine Harris and I presented a 90-minute live webinar on "Surviving Your First Labor Arbitration: Tips for the New Advocate." A recording of that webinar is now available for purchase from the American Arbitration Association, at this link. Completion of the webinar can qualify for CLE credits. - Paul

Article for new arbitration advocates published in AAA journal

I am pleased to report that an article I co-authored with arbitrator Catherine Harris has been published in the American Arbitration Association's flagship publication, the Dispute Resolution Journal. The article, titled "Surviving Your First Labor Arbitration: Tips for the New Advocate", appears in the March 2015 issue. It is linked here. Reprints can be ordered from Juris Publications at - Paul

Presentation on Mediation and Factfinding

On February 28, 2015, I had the opportunity to teach a two-hour class in Sacramento on mediation and factfinding to school district negotiators from throughout the state of California. The class, sponsored by the School Employers Association of California, was part of their School Management Negotiators Certificate Program. I am available to teach this class or similar classes for union, management, and neutral organizations. In addition to the Powerpoint presentation (click here to see the Powerpoint presentation on Mediation and Factfinding in K-12), I led the class through a hands-on mediation exercise. - Paul

Admitted to Railway, Airline, and State of Nevada Rosters

My name will now go out on lists of labor-management neutrals supplied by the National Mediation Board (NMB) and the State of Nevada. The NMB, a federal agency, administers a  roster of arbitrators who conduct grievance arbitration in the railway and airline industries. The State of Nevada's Employee-Management Relations Board maintains a roster of mediators for public sector disputes in that state. - Paul

City of Vacaville - Stationary Engineers Local 39 Factfinding Report published

I was recently selected by the City of Vacaville, California, and Stationary Engineers Local 39 to chair the factfinding panel on their contract negotiations impasse. The dispute was essentially over wages. In this instance, I found myself in the position of being unwilling to recommend either party's proposal, based on my reading of the statutory factors that the panel must consider. We ended up reaching a panel majority by crafting a quite general recommendation. My own personal specific recommendation as the panel neutral is in a footnote. The report has now been published and is available here. - Paul

On State of Washington PERC roster

I was recently admitted to the Washington Public Employment Relations Commission's Dispute Resolution Panel. This panel primarily provides arbitrators for interest arbitration and factfinding disputes in the state of Washington. PERC provides the parties with staff arbitrators to conduct grievance arbitration at no charge to the parties. - Paul

Interest arbitration award for City and County of San Francisco published

I was recently selected by the Employer and the Union to be the chairperson of the mediation / arbitration board for the City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco City Workers United (Painters). The issue was the renegotiation of the parties' collective bargaining agreement. After four days of on-the-record hearings and off-the-record mediation efforts, there were still twelve issues in dispute. The arbitration award for a three-year agreement was issued and has now been published on the Employer's and the Union's websites. The award is linked here. - Paul

Admitted to AAA and Oregon Arbitrator Panels

I have now been added to two additional arbitration and factfinding panels. One is the American Arbitration Association's (AAA) Roster of Labor Arbitrators. AAA is the nation's leading provider of dispute resolution services. I have also been admitted to the Oregon Employment Relations Board's panel of factfinders and arbitrators. - Paul