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Fact-Finding: How to Prepare and What They are Finding By: Michelle Miller-Kotula

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Presentation on theme: "Fact-Finding: How to Prepare and What They are Finding By: Michelle Miller-Kotula"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fact-Finding: How to Prepare and What They are Finding By: Michelle Miller-Kotula


3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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

7 Who are the Fact-Finders? Full time neutrals Knowledgeable in the school related fields with budget, finance, education programs, taxation Experience in similar processes

8 How are Fact-Finders are selected? PLRB makes appointments PLRB meets designated times during the year

9 Who pays for fact-finding? Parties split fee

10 Why is Fact Finding important? A valuable tool to resolve the impasse. Provides different expertise Neutral person assigned Value of Report

11 What happens when Fact-Finding fails? Proceed to next steps Must work to settle dispute


13 What items are important for Fact- Finders to consider? 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.)

14 How should the parties prepare for the Fact-Finding process? 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

15 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.


17 What are trends Fact-Finders are finding? 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

18 FACT- FINDING STATISTICS - 2011 No. of requests Employer rejects/unio n accepts Employer accepts/unio n rejects Both acceptBoth rejectSettled January43 1 February March1 1 April73 3 1 May1 1 June22 July21 1 August31 2 September61212 October1 1 November December

19 FACT- FINDING STATISTICS - 2012 No. of requests Employer rejects/unio n accepts Employer accepts/uni on rejects Both acceptBoth rejectSettled January February2 2 March63 12 April1134211 May2 2 June321 July32 1 August3 21 September1 1 October1 1 November3111 December2 11

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